GLYSSN (Gay & Lesbian Youth Social Support Network) has been set up for young people under the age of 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or perhaps just questioning their sexuality. The group currently meets in Eastbourne on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.
The service has been planned and developed by Terrence Higgins Trust South alongside Avenue House Sexual Health Department, Eastbourne Downs Primary Care Trust Health Development; Eastbourne Youth Development Service; Impact: Open Door (Eastbourne) and Eastbourne Foyer. Many of these agencies continue to support the service through active involvement in group facilitation and in a management committee.
Research by Stonewall in 1996 showed that almost 50% of people under 18 who identified as lesbian or gay had been victims of homophobic violence. Other research suggests that lesbian or gay teenagers are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and that 30% of all teen suicides are due to issues of sexuality.
Ewan Jenkins, Gay Men’s Community Worker at Terrence Higgins Trust South said: ”Young lesbians and gay men continue to be isolated in our society. Many are the victims of bullying or abuse simply because of their sexuality. Many lesbian and gay young people have trouble with both self-identity and self-confidence. Many simply feel alone, and have nowhere to turn for peer or other support. Terrence Higgins Trust aims to redress this balance in East Sussex, and give these young people the support they need.”
For more information please contact Ewan Jenkins on 01323 649927