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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 259 > SWITCHBOARD - THE LGBT+ HELPLINE

SWITCHBOARD - THE LGBT+ HELPLINE

WHY THE UK’S LEADING LGBT SUPPORT LINE IS NEEDED TODAY AS MUCH AS EVER

‘I JUST DON’T WANT TO WAKE UP TOMORROW. I’M DEPRESSED, I CAN’T WORK AND MY FAMILY HAVE REJECTED ME BECAUSE I’M GAY’

‘I’m one of those faggots you are talking about.’ The defiant words of one man. A 50 year-old coming out for the first time to himself — and at work — after being subjected to a torrent of homophobic workplace conversations. And with that staggeringly brave admission, the caller had cut himself loose. He’s free but also facing an abyss of confusion. ‘I am trying to study the ‘gay scene’’ he said with resignation in his voice, ‘but I don’t understand how it all works and I am so alone’.

Another call. ‘I just don’t want to wake up tomorrow,’ she said. ‘I’m depressed, ill, I can’t work and my family have rejected me because I’m gay. I have no life.’

These are the very real tales of two callers I heard at the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard. Not in 1975 but rather now in 2015.

In the age of internet connectivity, equal marriage in Britain and pop-culture figures waltzing into gay life, some might question what use a 40 year-old LGBT support line is to anyone.

But for those two callers the efforts of 200 volunteers offer a lifeline. In that moment they had a friend, options and hope.

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About Attitude

This very special edition of Attitude is our biggest ever. It marks our first annual Pride Awards, which were created to champion the unsung heroes of the LGBT community; all of our 11 recipients grace the cover, and their extraordinary stories are told inside. They will all be honoured at an event in London, hosted by Alan Cumming, on 26 June. This issue also marks Attitude’s 21st birthday, and inside we feature 21 ordinary 21 year olds from the LGBT community who speak about what matters to them as they come of age in Britain in 2015. The issue also includes interviews with Roisin Murphy, Little Mix, Mary Lambert, Aston Merrygold, Kavana, Collabro, actor Layton Williams, and director Bill Condon; as well as features on the rebranding of Switchboard, and a look back at Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance 30 years on. All this, plus our regular fashion spreads, columnists, real life features, travel and fitness.
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