I have suffered from periodic bouts of severe depression, on account of the deluge of homophobic hate mail, death threats and violent assaults that I have suffered for the last 30 years. I’ve had bricks through my windows, a bullet through the door and three arson attacks on my flat. On hundreds of different occasions, I have been beaten up by homophobic yobs and right-wing extremists. Nearly all my teeth are chipped and cracked. Being beaten unconscious by President Mugabe’s bodyguards and a bashing by neo-Nazis in Moscow has left me with minor brain and eye damage.
Thankfully, I’ve got a network of loyal, supportive friends who have helped see me through these dark moments. Not everyone has such wonderful friends, and sometimes friends are not enough. That is why we need more LGBT-friendly and accessible mental health services – services attuned and responsive to the particular needs of LGBT people.
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A contribution by Peter Tatchell for PsychLiverpool.