Finding acceptance and support as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community can significantly impact one’s sense of belonging and well being. One key step is seeking out inclusive spaces and communities, whether they are local support groups, online forums, or LGBTQIA+ organizations, where one can connect with others who share similar experiences and understand the journey.
Engaging with these groups can offer a network of support, advice, and camaraderie. Additionally, educating loved ones about LGBTQIA+ issues can foster understanding and acceptance in personal circles. It’s also important to surround yourself with allies who actively support LGBTQIA+ rights and provide a safe and affirming environment. Mental health resources specializing in LGBTQIA+ issues can further provide professional support and guidance. Through these avenues, individuals can find validation, build resilience, and foster a supportive network that celebrates their identity.
You are loved and valued here. -SG
I live in a very rural county with a population of around 11,000. 100% of them are Christian; 96.2%, consider themselves ‘very religious’, with the highest church attendance rate of any county in a state often characterized as “the buckle of the Bible Belt”. 96.9% are native born, 94.2% are White, 74.2% vote Republican. We don’t exactly celebrate diversity here.
As you might imagine, there are precious few “inclusive spaces and communities” here.
If 7.2% of the population is LGBTQ, and half of the population male, then there should be roughly 396 Gay men here.
I’ve been here 10 years, and I don’t know a single one.
Having grown up in the Bible belt ourselves and never “knowing” anyone who wasn’t cisgender cookie cutter, praise Jesus Halleluiah, I wonder looking back if there was a small LGBTQIA community in these small towns who just led simple lives outside the prying eyes of Judgy McJudgykins or if overall they chose to go onto greener and more inclusive cities post high school. But how sad is it that our precious LGBTQIA babies are being raised in communities where they aren’t told they are wanted and amazing. That is why places like our site and other online communities are vital. -SG
Do you want to find more inclusive spaces or are you simply saying where you live there probably isn’t one? I would think in small towns there is usually those who are part of the LGBTQIA community or allies who provide a safe space for kids, maybe in theatre, in the library, after school clubs, maybe even sports where they are accepted and loved. For adults maybe there are meetups in a larger city.