Category Archives: Gay Derbyshire

LGBT QWERTY returns!

Lovely folks, we are pleased to announce that LGB-QWERTY is back for 2017, with a fab night of variety entertainment and spoken word performances planned from members of Derbyshire’s LGBT+ community.

In the very special venue of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, and as part of LGBT+ History Month, the evening promises to be a unique space for the LGBT+ voices and stories to be heard, in the forms of poems, cabaret and variety acts, hosted by the irrepressible Dan Webber.

For more details, you can check out the Derby Museums page here: https://www.derbymuseums.org/whats-on/lcb-qwerty-5-lgbt-history-month-special

LGB-QWERTY is presented by Derbyshire LGBT+, in association with Furthest from the Sea Music, Comedy & Arts, Twisted Tongues and Derby Museums

Interested in performing? Contact Dan@furthestfromthesea.co.uk

“One of the most creative, funny and meaningful nights of variety entertainment I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending” – Serena Dowley, Derby University

Outrageous Women’s Social Support Group

Calling all 18+ wonder women and lovely LGBT ladies: our women’s group, Outrageous, next meets on 9th November at 7.30pm – 9pm.  The next evening will be going into games – Connect 4, cards, dominoes and Jenga, so come and test your skills with some old school entertainment! 

Outrageous is a monthly friendly social and support group for women, including trans women, who either identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or who are questioning their sexual orientation.  Why not join us to make new friends, chat and have refreshments in a safe, confidential and welcoming space.   The group meets at Derbyshire Friend, 7 Bramble Street, Derby DE1 1HU, and you are welcome to arrive early for a chat with the group leads, 7-7.30pm.  It’s an opportunity to meet and find out a bit more before the group starts.  The group is run by volunteers and secure off-road parking is available opposite the centre.

Outrageous Logo

Derbyshire LGBT+ Library Amnesty

Derbyshire LGBT+ Library Amnesty
Derbyshire LGBT+ are missing 35 books from our library which are long term overdue. To replace these at current paperback prices we would have to pay around £500. These are resources we are no longer able to offer to the LGBT Community.
Please, take a look at the list and if you find that you have any Derbyshire LGBT+ library books that you may have had for more than a year, we are offering an amnesty for anonymous returns between now and Christmas. No fines and no questions asked. Just drop them in the box at the centre.

If you have any LGBT fiction or non-fiction books or DVDs in good condition that you would like to donate to the DF library, please bring them into the centre and drop them into the library box, and help us create a library resource that our community can use.
A Boy’s Own Story
A Gay History of Britain
A Queer Romance
Aftershocks
At My Mother’s Knee and other Low Joints
Challenging Homophobia
Dyke Drama
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café
Gender Outlaws – The Next Generation
Get Closer
Homosexuality in Islam
Hunk House
My Undoing
Sex, Love & Homophobia
Shame
So Hard to Say
Social Work Perspective on Human Behaviour
Sugar Rush
The Boys on the Rock
The Color Purple
The Definitive Book of Body Language
The Folding Star
The Male Nude
The Night Watch
The Sage Handbook of Counselling & Psychotherapy
The Therapist’s Toolbox
Touched
Transforming Gender
Using Counselling Skills on the Telephone
V for Vendetta
Wicked
Young Men at War

Healthwatch Derby LGBT+ Healthcare Survey

Been asked about promiscuity by a doctor, because you’re told them you’re Bi? Been told that it doesn’t matter that you’re infertile by a nurse because you’re a lesbian? Been fully supported by a knowledgeable GP when you nervously told them you were Trans? Told that you can’t have support from the NHS for being Trans ‘because it’s too expensive?’ Been too scared to go to A+E or call an ambulance because you’re afraid they’ll make judgements? Experienced exceptional compassionate non-judgemental care from a professional during your hospital stay?

Healthwatch Derby are looking for personal experiences of accessing healthcare from LGBT+ folks. If you’ve had a good, or bad, experience with healthcare professionals, please let them know!

You can contact them via their website: https://www.healthwatchderby.co.uk/

Or follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HealthwatchDby/status/654288722536628224

National Coming Out Day- Coming Out Stories

Today is National coming out day and we wanted to share with you some coming out stories that have been sent in to us. Coming out can be scary, but there is a wonderful community waiting to welcome you. Here at Derbyshire Friend we can offer you all sorts of support, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Everyone’s coming out is different and there is no rush. There is no wrong or right time. You have to do what feels right for you.

These stories are all anonymous

“I first realised I was gay at a very young age, but I knew that it wasn’t normal to tell people, I would search for anything to do with gays either on tv or in newspapers when I was 13 I told my best friend and he told me he thought he was too, I started to experiment with boys at my school, but nobody used the word gay.  I would secretly travel to Sheffield to an independent book shop which had a LGBT section an buy books to read.     I officially came out when I was 16 to two of my best friends and from there I became part of the gay scene and eventually met a long term partner, when I first told my dad I told him I was bisexual as I thought that might be easier for him.  From then on I have always been Out either in work or my personal life.  It was completely freeing to be truly myself and not have to lie, I’m now 40 and have no interest in having people in my life who truly don’t accept who I am.  I am a very Proud and happy gay man”

 

My Coming Out.

I grew up in a very small rural village in East Sussex. In my late teenage years I worked in the village pub where my Dad was the landlord. I knew from about the age of 16 I was attracted to guys and had experienced some sexual encounters. I had a very close but non sexual relationship with a guy called Tony who worked for my Dad. Tony and I were like brothers, he was a couple of years older than me and I idolised him. Tony lived in a caravan at the back of the pub. One particular night after drinking far too much Tony and I went back to the caravan and I believe that the amount we had drunk resulted in me making advances towards Tony, I told him I loved him and I kissed him. The following day Tony went into meltdown and told his Mum about the night before. Margaret, Tony’s Mum came and found me a threatened to tell my Dad that I was “ a dirty queer, that had abused her son”, she would give me one day to tell my Mum and Dad or she would tell the customers in Dad’s pub the following night. The pub was the centre of village life and I was terrified. I went home in tears and told my Mum what had happened and that I was gay, her response was “I’ve known for a long time, what you have done is wrong and we need to sort this all out”. My Mum told my Dad and both of them told my Sister. Dad phoned Margaret and told her how sorry he was for what I had done to Tony and I wouldn’t be working in the pub any more. I felt rejected by all my family and knew that I had to get out of the village, I had to run away because I thought that was the best thing to do. In rather like a fairy story I left Sussex for the bright lights of London. I found work as a chef through a friend from college and I didn’t contact my family for over 7 years. To me their reactions to me being gay were that they were more concerned about how they would have been judged and not about supporting me.

I had a life where I could choose my own friends who became like family. I ended up leaving London and moved to Brighton, I was living the way I wanted and never thought about the family I had lost until one day I got home and there was a letter from the Salvation Army Missing Persons Unit saying that they believed that I was the son of a Mother who had asked them to find her missing son. I didn’t want to see my mum but I did want her to know that I was well and living a life that I wanted. I spoke to a lovely man at the Salvation Army in Brighton who would speak to my mum for me. Again several years passed and I moved to Derby. I felt that my mum needed to know I was doing OK so I wrote to her. Over the next few years we started sending occasional letters, a card at Christmas or a Birthday card but we still didn’t speak to each other. I was in my late 20’s when I finally spoke to my mum and was able to tell her that I was happy and in a relationship with a man. In 1997 I married that man and my mum and dad came to the ceremony. The relationship didn’t last but over the years Mum, Dad and I have rebuilt our lives and resolved and healed the hurt and now at the age of 45 can say that I have parents who love me for being just who I am.

(I’ve changed the names of the people concerned)

 

“I was born in 1955 when being gay was illegal. At the age of twelve I realised an attraction to other men. In the same year being gay was legalised for men over 21, with the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1967. Although I can’t remember ever being told that being attracted to men was wrong I knew instinctively not to tell anyone except other gay people. I never had a problem in accepting that I was gay, this may have been because I’d never fitted in or accepted by any of my peers. As a consequence I became a loner, which left me to pursue my attraction to men.

 

The first time I gave any indication of being gay to anyone who wasn’t gay was when I was about fifteen. I’m not sure how it came about that I was asked if I preferred Graham, who I sat next to at school, or his girlfriend and my answer was I preferred him. I was lucky that stating my preference didn’t cause me problems, this could be because it was my final year at school and I was well built for my age. Although I preferred him to his girlfriend I didn’t fancy him or any of the other boys. I’d found where to meet other gay men and this wasn’t at school.

 

I never told anyone else that I was gay until the age of 32. My younger brother, Mark, had found the delights of girls and he used to tell me about his girlfriends. I’d just come out of a relationship and could not talk to anyone about this difficult time. Then one day I said that it’s all right for him, he can talk about his relationships. He asked me was this because I was gay? I told him that it was. It was good to talk to someone about the break-up of my relationship and found it very helpful. But within two days he’d told the rest of the family that I was gay.  It turned out as no surprise to my sisters who had already guessed. Although I was single at the time I’d lived with a man for 12 years, which might have given them a clue. The only other thing that changed was my mother stopped asking me when I was going to get married and give her some grandchildren.

Now at 60, all the people who are important to me know that I’m gay. I’ve been able to enter into a civil partnership with my partner of 21 years, this gives us the same rights has heterosexual couples. Also now there is an equal age of consent.

Although the situation is a lot better for gay people from when I first realised I was gay, there is still a room for improvement.”

 

“My coming out story is one that happened in stages. I do not remember a time when I didn’t know I was different. It terrified me. I remember hitting puberty and sobbing because I fancied boys. I didn’t want to. I was so scared of what that meant for me and for my family. I felt wrong and unnatural. I wanted to get married and have kids like everyone told me I would and should, I wanted that I just didn’t see a woman waiting for me at the church when I pictured it. The very first person I came out to was a close friend, we actually came out to each other at the exact same time. She was and continues to be wonderful. I love her and share a bond with her that cannot be broken. Then I came out to other friends at school, eventually I was outed. It was tough and I constantly felt like a zoo exhibit, I was strange and mysterious and everyone wanted a gay best friend. They were interested in me purely for my sexuality and not me. I played the role well, I spent a long time playing a role of a gay man that society and other people expected from me, and I was lost in it. Next was my family, I came out to my Mum first, I was sat on the same sofa and couldn’t find the courage to say the words. I was crying, so I text her, on my trusty Nokia. I love that phone still. She cried, it came out of the clear blue for her, and everything she had imagined for me in that one instant was forever changed. After a while it sunk in and she was wonderful. We are as close as ever to this day. I asked her not to tell anyone for a while, I had to get used to her knowing, unfortunately she did tell her husband and my grandparents. It didn’t go well with my step father, we had a terrible relationship to begin with and when he finally brought it up it was the reaction I had been expecting but until that point hadn’t received, it ended badly even with a guest appearance from the police. My grandparents were OK, now they are great. My Dad is wonderful too. The rest of my family found out some were and still are decidedly not OK with it, so I don’t want them in my life anyway. It wasn’t the best experience, but I wouldn’t change it in a way, it made me the man I am today. And I like that man. It does get better, honestly and completely. Nothing in life is permanent, life now is wonderful. I am happy, honestly and openly me. I do not modify my behaviour any more, there are still struggles but things are changing. Never be ashamed of being who you are. Life is good, there is a wonderful community around waiting for you, LGBT+ people are great at creating their own families unfortunately often due to the fact their own doesn’t fit any more and that is rubbish, but OK. It’s their loss, because you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are.”

 

Derbyshire Friend would like to thank everyone who shared their stories.

National Coming Out Day- 11th October

Sunday the 11th October is National Coming Out Day, and here at Derbyshire Friend we would like to ask you all for help. We all know how important and difficult coming out can be, and how each persons’ story is as individual as they are. To show support and encouragement to those in our community who aren’t yet out, we would like to compile a few of your coming out stories, words of support or maybe even a letter to your younger self on how things have changed. It can be whatever you want to share with people who are not out and are looking to hear from people who have experienced it. You can email them to us here at either ryan.whittington@derbyshirefriend.org.uk or suzanneFM@derbyshirefriend.org.uk and we’ll compile them and publish them anonymously on our website

 

Many Thanks all at DF

Condom Postal Service

Dear Friends,
You may have noticed some big changes happening at Derbyshire Friend in the last few months, not least of which was the move to our new centre in June of this year. We have new members of staff, new offices, a new focus to develop further services, support groups and links with organisations such as the NHS, Local Authority, OutDerby, Well For Life, and many more, we hope that in the future we will continue to develop and consolidate our services to benefit more LGBT people and their families and allies across the county.
However, from 1st October 2015 we will no longer be able to offer our free condom postal service. This decision has not been an easy one for us to make. We understand how valuable the postal service is to many, unfortunately our major funders do not. Although we did post out with no cost to the recipient, there was a cost to Derbyshire Friend of postage and pack contents, which we can now no longer sustain. You will still be able to get safe sex packs and condoms, together with advice at our centre at Bramble Street and your local GUM clinic.
Despite this, we continue to support our community in everything we do, with regular outreach and events, attending PRIDEs, supporting, informing and working alongside other organisations and individuals to help relieve emotional distress, social isolation and help those questioning their gender or sexual identities by offering a safe, welcoming and confidential environment.
Please support us as we continue to support everyone in our community, and stand with us as we help others.
The reality being that we cannot function without funds, times have been hard and we have watched as many wonderful charities have disappeared over the last few years, leaving a gap in support for so many people. We are Derbyshire’s only LGBT support service, and without your help it is a real possibility we could disappear too. So please donate, get involved with our fundraising, talk about us, use our centre, and use our services. We know how valuable and important the work we do is, let’s make it clear to everyone.

Thank you

All at DF