LGBTQIA+ people can have a challenging time finding a supportive community. No matter where you go in the world, however, there are people you can turn to who will not only support you but also affirm you. It may even help to find a local counselor for affirmative therapy. Here are some ways to build your network so that you feel connected to others who understand what it’s like to be you.
It Takes Time
Building a network of support can take time and effort, but it’s well worth the investment. Remember that it’s OK to ask for help and that it’s also OK to accept help when it’s offered. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know, especially if they are members of your community.
You may not have any formal ties with them, but they may be willing to connect with you more deeply in order to support your journey through life as an LGBTQIA+ person. Be patient with yourself as you develop these relationships over time; there are no rules about how long this process will take or what steps must happen first before others follow.
Don’t Be Scared To Start Over
If you’re moving to a new city or even just a school or workplace, you might have to start from scratch. It’s okay to be nervous. It can be hard to meet people when you don’t know the area. You may need some extra time before deciding who is part of your support system and who isn’t. Remember, not everyone deserves your trust until they earn it.
Start by getting involved in LGBTQIA+ groups. The most important thing to do when building a support system is to get involved in the LGBTQIA+ community. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself what you’re interested in, and then find out which organizations are active in your area.
There are probably plenty of groups that will be able to help you meet people with similar interests.
Once you’ve found some possibilities, make sure they’re open and welcoming for all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and identities. If you love art, find an artist’s group. If you are a foodie, find a foodie group. There are plenty of things happening in cities all over.
Find Friends With Shared Experiences
Finding friends with shared experiences is important. It can be hard to find people who understand what you’re going through. The more you talk about your experience and get a sense of what it’s like for other LGBTQIA+ people, the easier it will be to find friends with similar experiences.
Be a Good Listener
Active listening is important. Active listening is a technique that allows you to understand what the other person is saying. It involves asking questions and paraphrasing what the other person has said. Active listening can be used in a variety of situations, including in your workplace, at home, and in social settings.
Everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively with others, both verbally and non-verbally. You might have trouble paying attention when someone else is talking, but active listening skills aren’t something that is learned overnight, they require practice.
It’s OK if You Are Not LGBTQIA+
Even if you are not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s OK to say things like, “I don’t know what that’s like, but I’m here for you.” You can be there for someone even if you don’t understand what they are going through.
By telling an LGBTQIA+ person that you are available in times when they need support, it lets them know that they have a strong support system as well as letting them know how important they are to you and others around them. Having these kinds of friends can also help you through traumatic experiences.
Separate Your Personal and Professional Relationships
It’s good to have healthy boundaries between your work and your personal life. A strong support system is an essential part of your healthy development as a person and as an employee.
However, you must be careful to separate your personal and professional relationships. In other words, don’t mix them up or let one aspect of your life bleed into another area of it.