LGBT+ History Month - How can you get involved?

"LGBT+ History Month" written over a picture of a lake at the bottom of a valley, and a bright blue sky

This LGBT+ History Month, we first want to acknowledge that it’s not enough to have one month to highlight, listen to and learn from LGBT+ people and their experiences. Here on the Online Community, we aim to provide a place to for everyone affected by cancer to find support 365 days a year. We want to do everything we can to ensure the Online Community is as helpful and supportive a place as possible.

Macmillan’s “Emerging Picture” report acknowledges how the needs and experiences of LGBT+ people affected by cancer can be very different. It highlights how LGBT+ people who are diagnosed with cancer can have poorer patient experiences. The report also explains how it can be difficult for LGBT+ people to find accurate and tailored information and support. For example, the NHS released information to 'debunk' the common misconception that (cis) women who have sex with (cis) women do not need to be screened for cervical cancer, and how this misconception can be dangerous.

The ongoing  has caused many additional difficulties for everyone affected by cancer. A recent report from Live Through This shows that the impact of COVID-19 has been significant for LGBT+ people affected by cancer, as well as the wider LGBT+ community.

In our Community News blog, “Pride – Supporting LGBT+ people affected by cancer”, we highlighted organisations and online resources which you might find helpful during this time.

I’m LGBT+ and I’d like to contribute

We know how important it is to find the right support, now more than ever. We’d like the LGBTIQ+ forum here on the Online Community to be as helpful a space as possible, that works in the best way for you. We’d like any changes or improvements to this group to be informed by and beneficial to our members who identify as LGBTIQ+, wherever possible.

If you’d like to provide feedback on this group, share your story with the Online Community here in the Community News Blog, or if you would be interested in helping us to improve and support the LGBTIQ+ forum, please let the Community team know. You can contact us at community@macmillan.org.uk.

What can you do if you’re not LGBT+?

It’s understandable to sometimes feel unsure around what you can do to support LGBT+ people if you don’t identify as LGBT+ yourself.  You might have heard the term “ally” before. An ally is someone who is supportive of the LGBT+ community, while they don’t identify as LGBT+ themselves. There are lots of ways you can be an ally, both during LGBT+ History Month and all year round.   

Learn more

It’s okay to feel that you don’t understand everything. However, taking the time to learn more about other people’s identities and experiences where we can, can be helpful for everyone.

Be mindful online

The Online Community is an anonymous platform, which means that everyone could be talking to and finding support from anyone from across the UK, or even across the world. This also means that you don’t know what someone else’s life might look like outside of their posts. Doing small things such as using open words like “partner” instead of “husband” or “wife”, if you don’t know someone’s personal circumstances, can make a big difference to help them feel comfortable within the Online Community.

There are lots more ways you can support the LGBT+ community. If you are interested in exploring more ideas, you can take a look at Stonewall’s webpage on “becoming an active LGBT ally.”

If you identify as LGBT+ and feel there’s more we can do to make the Online Community an inclusive and safe place for everyone, we’d like to hear from you. You can contact the Community team at community@macmillan.org.uk

 

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