Our Work With LGBTQU+ Young People

We imagine a world in which all LGBTQU+ young people are free to be themselves so they can fully belong, contribute, and thrive in their local communities.

Our LGBTQU+ Youth Support service for 11-25 year-olds is urgently needed because in 2020/21:

84% of LGBTQU+ young people and

96% of trans young people experienced a mental health problem.

24% of homeless young people are LGBTQU+, and 61% of homeless LGBTQU+ young people felt frightened or threatened by family members before they became homeless.

1 in 4 people who identify as transgender have experienced homelessness.

48% of LGBTQU+ young people didn’t feel included in their community.

“Contacting [YMCA DownsLink Group’s] Find It Out+ service has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life… I felt welcomed from the get-go and quickly felt comfortable talking to [my worker].”

Nathan (18) had been struggling with his family relationships and mental health for several years, especially so after coming out to his family at the age of 15. Nathan found the confidence to reach out to YMCA DownsLink Group, Youth Advice Service (Find It Out+) after speaking to his friend who had previously had a positive experience with the service.  

Nathan explained that his parents were not fully accepting his identity as a gay man – he had a boyfriend who he said was quite supportive.  Nathan explained that he wanted independence, boundaries, freedom & privacy with his parents, but did not feel that he was getting this from them.

Read Nathan’s story

Glossary of gender identity and sexuality for beginners

This article is intended to give an overview of the difference between sex, gender and sexual orientation, for those who want to know more, but maybe feel embarrassed to ask. It is unashamedly ‘basic’, however at the end of the article are suggestions for more in-depth reading and resources.

What are Pronouns and why they are important?

A critical focus of our Diversity & Inclusion Forum has been recognising and promoting the importance of understanding and correctly using pronouns. Through our work we have produced a set of recommendations around the use of pronouns which may be useful for everyone. 

Faith and queerness: a discussion around LBGTQU+ identities and religion

An open and honest conversation between our YMCA YAC Team Leader Joshua and Lead Chaplain Lucy about the sometimes difficult relationship between religion/faith and people in the LGBTQU+ community.

Further reading:

Our staff, volunteers and young people have recommended the books below:



YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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