Relationships

Relationships

Finding the right person can be hard whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity, and since the arrival of the internet there is a growing paradox between more accessible sex and people going out less to connect in social spaces. However the internet can potentially help you find someone who enjoys similar things both in and out of the bedroom, but always remember that it is easy to lie online and taking simple steps like always meeting first in a public space can help keep you safe.

Often it's hard to find people to connect with and there a range of 'real life' places to meet people, from youth groups to LGBT choirs or walking groups. Or if you want a more anonymous large scale introduction attending one of the regional Pride events can be a good place to find out what's going on locally and meeting people.

There are some LGBT publications which can help you find out more about what's going on locally:

DIVA – a national lesbian magazine

Gay Times – a national gay magazine

Pink Paper – a national LGB newspaper

Out in the City – a london focused LGBT magazine

There are also some online databases of local services/events

Queery.org.uk

Queer Youth Network

Although some people find monogomy works for them them, not everyone does, and as with heterosexual relationships, finding what works for you is about communicating with your partner/partners. The important thing is that you make the choice that is right for you.

Unfortunately domestic violence can happen in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships, and some research suggests that up to 1 in 4 LGBT people will experience domestic abuse or violence from a partners or ex-partner or family member during their lives. 

Fortunately the issue of domestic violence is coming out of the closet more and more and there are now a range of places where you can get help, in 2007/08 NHS Barking and Dagenham and the Greater London Domestic Violence Project produced a range of specific leaflets on DV for LGBT people as part of our new website for healthcare professionals on domestic violence

Download the NHS Barking and Dagenham leaflet for Gay Men on Domestic abuse

Download the NHS Barking and Dagenham leaflet for Lesbians on Domestic abuse

Download the NHS Barking and Dagenham leaflet for Trans people on Domestic abuse (to come in June 2009)

If you are in immediate danger you should call 999 and ask for help, the police have done a huge amount of work over the last ten years to improve the way they work with LGBT service users and they are there to help.

Broken Rainbow is a national charity that supports LGBT people affected by domestic violence, they have a telephone helpline on 08452 60 44 60 which is available on specific nights during the week (check their website for details)

There is also a great resource in Australia called Another Closet

However not all LGBT relationships end up in domestic violence and lots of LGBT couples have great, happy and productive lives together. Since December 2005 same-sex couples have been entitled to civil partnerships in the UK. A civil partnership provides almost all the same protections in law as heterosexual marriage. The government have set up a useful website specifically about civil partnership to explain what you need to consider if you want to take this step.