Pride - Supporting LGBT+ people affected by cancer

The month of June has been celebrated as Pride month for the LGBT+ community for decades. For the first time in recent memory, there will be no Pride marches across the UK this year. We didn’t want to let that stop us celebrating this important time, alongside recognising how much there is still to do to support equality. Macmillan and the Online Community are here for everyone affected by cancer, no matter how you identify or who you love.

If you’re wondering why we’re talking about Pride, check out the Macmillan cancer information team’s blog post here.

An estimated 1.2 million people in the UK identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while other estimates suggest this could be as high as 3.6 million. Macmillan’s Emerging Picture report acknowledges that accurate figures on sexuality and gender identity are difficult to achieve, and the numbers of LGBT+ people in the UK and affected by cancer could be much higher. It’s important to us that everyone feels welcome and accepted on the Online Community, and we want to do everything we can to help you find the best support.

“I imagine different people join this group for different reasons but I suspect that part of it would be the camaraderie we feel by linking with other LGBT people…I have really benefitted from the support of others. Life’s tough at times but those kindnesses help us get through.”

BryonyO in the LGBT Lounge

The LGBT Lounge is a place for members of the LGBT+ community to share and discuss your experiences with cancer with others who can understand what you’re going through. Some groups on the Community are sometimes busier than others. We want to take this moment to highlight that every group on the Community is a safe place to talk to others who might have a similar diagnosis or experience, regardless of your sexuality or how you identify.

“For LGBT people, coming out doesn’t just happen once; it is repeated throughout our lives. Every day there are assumptions to challenge, prejudices to overcome, positive messages to reinforce. Perhaps most importantly, being LGBT doesn’t protect us from the challenges everybody else faces. We are told that up to half of us will have cancer at some point in our lives, yet I never really believed it would be me.”

David

David was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and shared his story with us last year on Community news. Read about David’s experiences as a gay man diagnosed with cancer here.

  • The LGBT Foundation, a UK charity which specialises in supporting LGBT+ communities, have lots of resources online on living with cancer. They also have a helpline, which you can call at 0345 3 30 30 30.
  • Switchboard is a dedicated LGBT+ helpline which you can call on 0300 330 0630, 10am – 10pm every day.
  • Live Through This is a dedicated cancer support and advocacy service for the LGBT+ community. 
  • Stonewall is a UK charity with resources for the LGBT+ community around employment, coming out, bereavement and more.
  • Mind, a UK charity specialising in mental health, has a dedicated space with information and resources on wellbeing support for those of us who identify as LGBT+.
  • Macmillan has lots of information online around cervical screenings and smear tests, which includes information on whether you might need one if you are a trans man or woman.
  • Macmillan has some online guidance on talking to your doctor about the impacts of cancer on your sexual health and wellbeing if you identify as LGBT+.
  • If you’re a healthcare professional, read Macmillan’s information and guidance on supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people affected by cancer.

Could we do more?

If you identify as LGBT+ and feel there’s more we can do to make the Online Community a safe and inclusive space for everyone, please let us know. You can contact the Community team at community@macmillan.org.uk

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