I recently came out - although frankly it has been obvious for years. My family and the majority of my friends abandoned me, life became so unbearable where I was living I have had to move. Although this was a quick fix - I am now feeling lonelier than ever and am wondering whether it was even worth coming out in the first place. How is there any light in this situation, I literally have no-one to talk to and no-one to ask. Advice would greatly be appreciated.
It's good that you have reached out like this - a good step. You are not alone in feeling lonely at the present time but it sounds like there is a lot more to it in your situation. Very hard being rejected by your family like that and a very big decision to go it alone. I am so sorry your situation forced you to have to do that.
If you want to talk to someone anonymously I would always recommend phoning the Switchboard 0300 330 0630. All the lovely volunteers are working from home at the present and lines are open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. every day. If you pick this message up tonight there is still time to ring. They will be able to talk through your situation with you and then suggest points of action for you to take. They have a wealth of contacts and links for you to investigate.
Firstly, I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner, things are a bit crazy here at the moment.
Thank you so much for your post, and honestly, I can relate! When I first came out I had to leave home and my relationship with my family was really bad. I was poor, moving from place to place, and at the time I didn't have a boyfriend, so I felt like I had made my life really difficult for little gain. I think tonnes of people feel this way when they come out and things don't go smoothly.
I don't regret it though. My relationship with my family got better over time, and I developed new networks of people who understood and loved me for who I am - an out and proud gay man. It took time for things to stabilise, but looking back on my decision, I don't think I'd change it. I think the stress of living in the closet would probably have resulted in equal, if not greater harm had I continued.
It sounds like what you need right now is some support to get you through this time, and maybe some ideas for how to grow your networks over the medium / long term. I'm going to try and suggest things that work in and out of lockdown, for when the restrictions eventually ease a little and we can all move about more.
- LGBTQ+ communities - It sounds like having some queer people to talk to would be great for you right now. You don't mention how old you are, or where you're based, but there are still tonnes of active LGBTQ+ societies, clubs, and support groups where you can meet other people, either online, or in person. If you're looking for youth groups, try The Proud Trust (Manchester), or Mosaic Youth (London), or another in the area that you're based. Charities like London Friend also run drop ins and social groups if that's more your thing. There are also a tonne of social groups out there across the country, which might not be as active now, but will be in the future. I know that a lot of these organisations are pivoting their activities online, and setting up things like discord channels for people to chat.
- Lines to call - Whatever you're feeling, if you don't have anyone to talk to and want a chat, you can call Switchboard, as mentioned by Simon. I've done it several times in the past! Such a great service where you can speak to someone about how you're feeling. They might also be able to point you in the direction of something in your local area. You can call them on 0300 330 0630, or you can webchat via Switchboard's website.
- Things to watch - I know it can feel like there's little to look forward to, but lots of people have similar experiences to yours and things really do get better. Try watching some of the videos here: itgetsbetter.org/stories/ where LGBTQ+ people talk about how their lives have improved. I always find that hearing other people's stories remind me that difficult circumstances are temporary and will pass.
I hope that you find some of the above helpful. We're always here if you need to talk, or want more information. If you need support, reach out, and you'll find that other LGBTQ+ people will be there to catch you.