When offering emotional support to our callers, we believe that everyone has their own identities, needs and ways of coping. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to even the most common of personal issues, and we aim to help you identify what is best for you. You do not necessarily have to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and we understand that these terms can feel limiting or irrelevant to some people when exploring their sexuality or gender identity.
Very often when people call or email us, the first thing they say is, ‘I can’t believe I’m telling you about this when you’ve got people with real problems to talk to’. Whatever is troubling you, we will never regard it as trivial. No matter what is affecting you, we are here to listen. You don’t even need to have a solid ‘issue’ to discuss; maybe you’ve been feeling down of late and you’re not quite sure why. Perhaps you’re an LGBT person who wants to talk about something unrelated to your sexual orientation or gender identity – such as relationships, loneliness or mental health – and you’d simply feel more comfortable opening up to an LGBT service rather than a generalised service. Whatever is going on in your life, we are here for you and we want to support you.
We know that it can feel embarrassing to talk through these kinds of things with your GP or other professionals, and it may not be so easy to talk to a partner about sex. We are not healthcare professionals and we don’t have specialised medical knowledge, but we are trained and experienced in safer sex matters and in talking about sex, sexuality and sexual health. If we don’t know the answers, we’ll point you in the direction of someone who does.
LGBT Hate Crime
If you have been the victim of an LGBT hate crime or incident, or if you are an LGBT person who has been targeted due to your race, faith/belief or disability, our helpline can provide you with immediate support both emotionally and with the practicalities of dealing with what’s happened to you. We can help you to decide whether and how to involve the police and we can report the incident confidentially on your behalf – even if you wish to remain anonymous. Our “third party reporting” service allows you to report a crime or incident confidentially to a supportive third party, rather than directly to the police. You can remote report anonymously, which can still give the police information that helps them fight hate crime and increase community safety. You can also report a hate crime directly to the police online here , or speak with a specialist LGBT Liaison Officer in your local area by calling 101. For more information on hate crime, click here.
Domestic abuse affects people of all sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions. It is a pattern of controlling behaviours by a partner or ex-partner and can be emotional, mental, financial, physical or sexual. It may also include homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse. We realise that domestic abuse can be extremely difficult to talk about, but LGBT Helpline Scotland will talk things through with you at your own pace and on your own terms. We will not force you to discuss anything that feels uncomfortable, and we will never take any action against your partner unless you want us to (or unless you are in serious immediate danger).
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and think that you might be experiencing domestic abuse, call LGBT Helpline Scotland for support on 0300 123 2523 (Tues/Weds, 12-9pm). If you would like some information about how you can keep yourself safe, The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project has some excellent information on their website (the project is run by LGBT Youth Scotland, but this information is designed for LGBT people of all ages).
Police Scotland are sensitive to the needs of LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse. You can report domestic abuse on their website or alternatively you can discuss it with us first if you are unsure.
If you need support outside of our helpline hours, contact Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) or Scottish Womens Aid (both services are LGBT inclusive). Rape Crisis Scotland provides support to people of all genders and sexual orientations who have experienced sexual violence.
Scotland’s National Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline is open 24/7
and can be reached on 0800 027 1234