Opinion: It is vital that we continue to support the most vulnerable members of our society

Tessa Havers-Strong says forum+ is still working with the vulnerable among the LGBTQ community.

Tessa Havers-Strong says forum+ is still working with the vulnerable among the LGBTQ community. - Credit: Archant

The local LGBTQ community is rallying together during the Covid-19 crisis, working together to support its most vulnerable members.

LGBTQ people over 55 are more likely to be single, live alone and less likely to have children or regularly see family members than straight people. Following Government instructions that over 70s should stay indoors to reduce their risk of contracting the Covid-19, the elderly have had to stay in their homes, with many living on their own left without their usual social network.

forum+ is continuing to support victims of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, across Camden and Islington. Although all face to face activities have been suspended, work to reduce social isolation and loneliness in the local LGBTQ community continues. People are connecting remotely via video conferencing and the community is reaching out to one another through phone calls, emails and social media.

The LGBTQ community has a long history of fighting back, finding and fostering community. The Covid-19 crisis presents many challenges but once again shows the resilience of our community and how people will support and be there for one another. With many of the main events on the LGBTQ calendar (such as Pride In London and commemorations for International Day Against Homopbobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) suspended or cancelled, connecting virtually has become a vital way of ensuring that these special LGBTQ days of celebration continue to be marked. The first ever UK gay rights protest took place in Highbury Fields in November 1970 and now almost 50 years later the local LGBTQ community is once again mobilising and showing its resolve.

Of course Covid-19 poses a threat to everyone, with the crisis having an impact on all members of society. It has been inspiring to see how local residents in Camden and Islington have rallied to support those who need it most. Concerned neighbours are volunteering their time as our local councils, charities and grassroots organisations provide vital services and support. We truly are all in this together.

forum+ is encouraging all local LGBTQ people of all ages and identities to reach out for support if they are feeling isolated. If you are a victim of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic harassment or hate crime or have any other enquiries you can contact forum+ on the mainline telephone number, between 10.00am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday: 020 7388 5720 or email info@forumplus.org.uk. For updated information please check forum+ social media and website: Twitter: @forumplus, Facebook: @forumplus and forumplus.org.uk