UK laws have changed a lot in recent years to make sure you are treated fairly, regardless of your sexual orientation or your gender.

In the UK the Equality Act makes it illegal to treat a person unfairly because of their sexual orientation, their sex or because they are transgender. Lots of our other laws have been updated to give LGBTQ+ people the same rights as anyone else. Such as the rules about marriage and civil partnerships, and laws to prevent hate crimes.

However, people can still have problems. For example, it can be difficult to talk about your gender or sexual orientation. During a lockdown when people are told to stay at home these problems can seem even bigger.

Here are our top tips to cope.

Remember that the law is still on your side

The law still requires people to treat you fairly during lockdown.

If you are usually employed, you can find that during the lockdown you are asked to do your job in different ways. In other cases you might not be able to work at all. This does not mean that the law stops protecting LGBTQ+ people.

If you are worried that you are being treated unfairly, see the Citizens Advice help pages to find out what your options might be.

Think carefully about coming out during the lockdown

The law protects you from being treated unfairly, but your family might not react in the way you hoped if you decide to come out or discuss your gender during the lockdown.

It could lead to arguments and pressure due to not having much time apart from each other. Some charities recommend that people could instead 'press pause' on coming out now.

If things do seem difficult at home there are some great charities that can help. You can find them from a web search - for example for young people there is the Albert Kennedy Trust.>

And if things get more out of hand or abusive the police are still there during lockdowns to protect you.

Keep talking

Self-isolation and lockdown can impact your mental health. For people from the LGBTQ+ communities it can mean being unable to easily visit ‘safe spaces’ like friends’ houses, community centres, or bars and cafes. These are places they might go to meet people and talk about their experiences.

You might have friends or relatives that are supportive, and happy to chat. There are plenty of organisations and services that can help by talking to you on the phone, by email or webchat. Take a look at the charity Stonewall's website for ideas.

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