Support & Advice

These are local and national organisations you can contact to get help on many different fronts.  They will be able to support you whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or not, but some are specifically aimed to  support the community and these are listed separately.  In addition to those listed please also consider contacting Newbury Pride or another Pride organisation that may be more local to you to obtain other support advice and information.

Support Organisations

Flag DV
Offering free legal advice for domestic abuse in Thames Valley  Phone: 0800 731 0055

Survivor led peer-based support for children and adults who have been exposed to domestic abuse, working across the Thames Valley.

Oxford Rose Clinic
This is a confidential service providing support for women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C).

Refuge is a national charity which provides a wide range of specialist domestic abuse services to women and children. Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support call the helpline on 0808 2000 247. Or visit their website to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday).

Solace Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) provide local communities with a safe, discreet and caring environment to support victims of rape and sexual assault.

Victims First
Provides free emotional and practical support to anyone who has experienced domestic abuse, including children and young people who have witnessed abuse. It is available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes) and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police. The service will discuss your needs with you and offer options for appropriate tailored support which may include: someone to talk to; independent domestic violence advisors; group or peer support; support through the criminal justice system; counselling; advocacy and/or practical support. Phone: 0300 1234 148

Berkshire Womens Aid

Supporting all genders, Berkshire Women’s Aid works against domestic abuse and violence, providing support, advocacy and places of safety in Reading and Bracknell.  Phone: 0808 801 0882

West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Support Services (ADAS)
Providing specialist support for victims of domestic abuse in West Berkshire. Supports all genders. Phone: 0800 7310055

Wokingham Domestic Abuse Service (Cranstoun)
Domestic abuse service in Wokingham supporting victims and children and delivering programmes that tackle perpetrator behaviour. Supports all genders.  Phone: 0118 402 1921

LGBTQIA+ Support

Support U
Support for members of the LGBT+ community affected by domestic abuse and/or sexual violence. Phone: 0118 321 0111

Proud To Be Trans In West Berkshire

Support, advice and social activities for transgender people, their families and friends based around Newbury and Thatcham.

I think I may be gay

Figuring out your orientation can be complicated.  In a society where most of us are expected to be straight, it can be difficult to take a step back and ask whether you’re gay, straight, or something else.  You’re the only person who can figure out what your orientation truly is.

It all started with a sex dream — does this mean what I think it means?  Many of us grow up to assume that we’re straight only to find out, later, that we’re not.  Sometimes, we realize this because we have sex dreams, sexual thoughts, or feelings of intense attraction toward people of the same gender as us.  However, none of those things — sex dreams, sexual thoughts, or even feelings of intense attraction — necessarily “prove” your orientation.  Having a sex dream about someone of the same gender as you doesn’t necessarily make you gay. Having a sex dream about someone of the opposite gender doesn’t necessarily make you straight.

There are a few different forms of attraction.  When it comes to orientation, we usually refer to romantic attraction (who you have strong romantic feelings for and desire a romantic relationship with) and sexual attraction (who you want to engage in sexual activity with).  Sometimes we’re romantically and sexually attracted to the same groups of people. Sometimes we’re not.  For example, it’s possible to be romantically attracted to men but sexually attracted to men, women, and nonbinary people. This sort of situation is called “mixed orientation” or “cross orientation” — and it’s totally OK.

I don't feel comfortable with my gender

This is known as gender variance or gender incongruence and can be an indication that you may be transgender.  It can manifest itself as mild to severe feelings of "being in the wrong body" or maybe not identifying with either of the accepted genders and is a complex web of differences.  These feelings can also alter at times as well as fluctuate in intensity but they are unlikely to ever completely go away.  You are the only person who can determine your true identity but a professional can help you to clarify this situation.

Due to their nature, the dichotomy between your body and the way that you identify as, can be very severe and cause extreme feelings of depression and despair and unless addressed can lead to suicidal ideation and is, thus, a very serious condition.  You can help these feelings by various measures such as changing the way you express yourself or present yourself in ways that are more applicable to the gender to which you identify the most, or less like that which you identify with the least.

To be continued.

I don't understand why my friend says I should use they/them pronouns 

Replace this text with information about pronouns.