The world is a bit extra scary and confusing lately, and it can be really overwhelming while we’re all dealing with coronavirus. One of the ways many people are trying to help with the situation is by self-isolating, or practicing social distancing, by staying at home and not going to usual events, groups or other outings in public spaces.

While this is a really good plan for helping keep others healthy and safe, it can feel a little lonely. Sometimes it’s good to disconnect from the world and take some space, and sometimes it can make you feel lost and excluded.

That’s why it’s important to find ways to stay connected, especially with your community, while practicing social distancing. So for today’s blog, here are a few quick tips on how to engage with the LGBTQ+ community from the comfort of your own home.

 

Social Sharing

 

  1. Follow

Maybe the most obvious first choice is, of course, to stay connected with social media platforms like twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and more! Social media can be a great way to stay up to date with what’s going on with your friends and with the world, and it can be especially helpful for learning what’s going on with the LGBT community. Following different LGBT news sources, magazines, activists, and organisations will help you feel like you are staying up to date with what’s going on.

Here are five twitter accounts we recommend to help get you started:

 

  1. Promote

With the cancellations of so many events and the closure of so many businesses, a lot of LGBT freelance workers are losing their income. If you can afford to buy the art of an LGBT artist, that’s one way to support. But another great way to support is to promote their work. Look up some LGBT artists (any kind of art! From visual art to music to dance!) and share their online handles and work. Not only are you helping members of your community, but it means you get to look at lots of pretty LGBT art too!

To start, here’s our top five favourites on Instagram:

 

  1. Create

Social media is also a great way to have your voice heard! Why not start your own social media campaign, create your own content, or participate in some trending hashtags? Of course, you want to be careful with who you talk to online, but chatting with friends and responding to celebrity posts can be a fun way to engage with your community.

You can also create content for Q42! If you want to contribute to our blog, twitter or Instagram just email us at: hello@q42.org.uk! We’d love to hear from you! For more details, go to: https://q42.org.uk/get-involved/

 

Media Minding

 

  1. Books

Sometimes it’s just nice to curl up and read a good book. Whether it’s a long epic sci-fi adventure or an adorable teen romance, reading LGBT fiction can help us feel like there are other people who understand what we’re going through. They can help us feel connected to people we’ve never met, and help us feel less alone in the world. If you’re ever feeling alone, a good LGBT story is a great place to start!

Here’s a list of some great examples:
https://bookriot.com/2017/05/11/100-must-read-lgbtqia-ya-books/

Don’t have the budget? Try these 100% free webcomics instead!
https://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/castle-swimmer/list?title_no=1499&page=1
https://tapas.io/series/Heartstopper

 

  1. TV and Films

While binge-watching too much TV isn’t always the healthiest choice, seeing positive and accurate representations of your identity can be a comforting and rewarding experience. Films like Love Simon and Pride can offer cute and positive stories for our lives.

Or, if you’d rather a TV show, here are our top five favourites on Netflix:

 

  1. Music

LGBT music can be a powerful way to feel seen and connected to the LGBT community. Sitting back and just listening to the songs of other LGBT people is a beautiful and intimate way to sit alone and still be engaged with others.

Here are some great places to get started:

 

Virtual Visit

 

  1. Exhibitions

Queer arts and culture is often made available through events and exhibitions. But a lot of these have been made available online. Viewing this kind of material can help give you a better understanding of LGBT history and culture, and help you build a deeper connection to the LGBT community.

Here are a couple great examples:
https://www.glbthistory.org/online-exhibitions
https://alga.org.au/exhibitions

 

  1. Archive

So much of the LGBT community today is informed by our history and our activist movements. To get to know these better, it can be helpful to investigate some of the work that was done in our history. Archives are great resources for remembering the past and seeing the exciting and important activist and artistic work that has helped shape our present.

See some great archives here:
https://digitalexhibitions.arquives.ca/items
https://archive.qzap.org/

 

  1. Tour

Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time there. Take a virtual tour of a new place, like some historic LGBT spaces! See for yourself where some of the most iconic and important moments in LGBT history took place.

Here’s a great option we found!
https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2016/10/19/take-tour-nations-historic-lgbt-landmarks#article-content

 

Accessible Assistance

If you’re feeling worried about the current COVID-19 crisis and you have lots of questions and concerns, here is a helpful resource: https://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus

If you would like to talk to someone and get some wellbeing support, you can access 42nd Street’s new Online Support at: https://onlinesupport.42ndstreet.org.uk/

Spread the word : )
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