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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Why We Still Need to Support LGBT Charities Such as Colchester's Outhouse East

Given that we now live in an age of same sex marriages and gay characters featuring regularly on Coronation Street it may be tempting to think that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) charities such as Colchester's 'Outhouse East' are no longer needed or irrelevant. While it is true that an awful lot has changed in the last 25 years, it would be naive to think that LGBT people all exist in the same situations and face no problems or barriers as a result of their sexual orientation or gender. In particular there are still major issues faced by young LGBT people and all family and domestic situations are not cozy ones typified by 'gay-friendly' parents and siblings. While attitudes are changing this does not mean that there are no longer homophobic parents or hostile family environments where young people are bombarded with anti-gay comments well before any coming-out process starts. Add to this the pernicious problem of homophobic bullying and language in secondary schools and you still have a huge reason why Outhouse East and similar organisations which provide advice and support need to exist. Stonewall, the leading UK gay, lesbian and bisexual charity, ( website: www.stonewall.org.uk) estimates that in the next year around 75,000 young people will be bullied because they are gay and around 21,000 will attempt suicide.
Furthermore there are people of all age groups that still need the services of Outhouse East. The organisation offers a free counselling service which is much in demand and attracts clients of all age groups. There are many people who grew up in less favorable times who still have never felt able to come out or deal with the situations in which they are in. There remains much ignorance out there regarding issues of sexuality and gender, particularly transgender issues.
As well as counselling, Outhouse East provides regular socials and has an extensive library. The address is 19 East Hill Colchester (halfway down the hill on the right-hand side, nearly opposite the Curve Bar). The socials are open to all and you just drop-in. For counselling services see the contact details on the Outhouse East website. The website address is:

http://www.outhouseeast.org.uk/

Below are some pictures of the Outhouse and its facilities:












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