When we started this project we all highlighted one thing that we should definitely not do is create a stream of negative news.
If you go on LGBTQ+ sites, or feeds, and all you see is an endless tirade of how crap it is to be LGBTQ+, that’s not so good for wellbeing…
So we’re not going down that road of sharing sensationalised stories and click bait doom and gloom nonsense. We try and focus on some of the amazing things about being LGBTQ+!
But all that other stuff’s still out there.
And we’re also not going to pretend that some really sh*t stuff isn’t happening at the moment for some LGBTQ+ people, and we’re not pretending that something that happens to one of us, doesn’t affect all of us…
It has an impact
We’re all very much connected to each other these days, regardless of geography.
Some stuff might be happening on the other side of the world, or across the ocean, or just in a different city, but the ideas that are being shared – the voices that we hear – they can often reach across those distances.
If something’s going on somewhere in the world, it can have an impact and that’s OK. It’s OK if things in the news make you upset or angry or even scared, even if people might say they don’t directly impact you. These things that are happening are NOT OK and are sometimes truly horrific.
Knowing what to do with feelings of anger, sadness and fear about injustices in the world can be really difficult.
If you see a horrible news story that makes you feel rubbish, there might be a few things that can help to avoid getting sucked in to a bit of a “black hole”.
Stuff that makes us feel stressed, anxious or depressed tends to fall into two broad camps – things we can do something about and things we can’t.
Take a moment and think about where some of the things in the news sits.
If there’s something you feel you can do, do it! (I’m assuming it’s safe for you to do so of course. Please don’t put yourself at risk out there because if this article!)
It might feel small, like simply signing a petition, or writing a letter to someone who can make a direct impact on things or even simply sharing and raising awareness of what’s going on with links to what others can do about it.
It could be bigger, like taking part in a protest or joining a campaign group.
It could be creative like writing an article or making a YouTube or Tik Tok video about it.
Doing something can really help to turn those feelings into something positive.
If there’s really nothing you can do, then take a deep breath (a really deep breath!) and try to tell yourself to let go.
It might be that you can find something you can do something about and pour your energy into that instead. In fact there a hundreds of amazing causes you could get involved in and supporting anyone less fortunate than others is an amazing thing to do.
Take a break before bed
Seriously, don’t read the news before bed! Just don’t. No good can come from it!
In fact it might be a good idea to be very selective what social media you go on before bed.
I’m totally addicted to a range of social media. But in those few hours before going to bed there’s a bunch of feeds I just can’t go on – because I know something’s going to be shared that winds me up.
I usually resort to ridiculous Tik Tok videos to make sure I get a laugh. I have a feed on Reddit that only follows happy SubReddits like Bread Stapled To Trees and Oddly Satisfying and Earth P*rn to chill me out!
Remember what “the media” is
In recent years the glory of the internet has meant that anyone can make a news site and share their two cents with the world.
Which is great!
But it means bigger news outlets get desperate to keep your attention. It means everyone’s fighting to get noticed.
It means sometimes, things are going to get sensationalised to get your attention and only the worst possible facts will get mentioned.
It means those facts are much less important than clicks. And stories are most likely going to be shared with people already agreeing with that side of things and who are less likely to challenge what’s being said.
It means if you’re getting that news for free, an advertiser or sponsor is probably paying for it instead, and they’re not doing that out of the goodness of their heart – they’re doing it to make sure a specific messages gets to you.
So take things with a pinch of salt. Remember, impartial news is a rare thing to come across.
Take a moment to think about who’s sharing stuff and why they might be doing it and check a few different sources to get the whole picture of what’s going on.
Celebrate what you have!
If you are afforded rights and freedoms that are denied to others, celebrate them! Make the most of them!
Hunt down those freedoms and embrace them and make the very most of them, even if they feel few and far between sometimes.
And make sure others know those freedoms are important to you!
Make sure you’re living your life and making the most of the things that important to you.
A problem shared is a problem halved right? Or something cheesy like that…
So share positive moments with others! …Share negative moments with others!
If you have access to a community of like-minded people, like a youth group or forum or online group, join it.
Share your experiences with others and know that you’re not alone feeling crappy about some of the stuff going on in the world.
And you’re not alone wanting to celebrate some of the amazing stuff too.
Where to start?
Here’s a few pages that might of interest and that often provide an opportunity to do something about what’s going on.
Do check out our wellbeing pages too if you’re feeling down.
A Peition against Brunei’s laws
An open letter from the LGBT Foundation calling for LGBTQ+ inclusive education to be protected
Amnesty International’s campaign to protect LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya and Russia
All the petitions currently live on Change.Org talking about LGBT rights
Find a youth group or LGBT project to join
Look up other great LGBTQ+ projects
Proud Trust www.proudtrust.org
Albert Kennedy Trust www.akt.org.uk
LGBT Foundation http://lgbt.foundation
Stonewall Foundation https://www.youngstonewall.org.uk/