1 Jul 2021  |  Daniel Storey

This June marked the first anniversary of ESTEEM’s True Self project. True Self is a group project consisting of local young adult members of the LGBTQ+ community, offering a Queer positive space to discuss and learn about LGBTQ+ experiences and issues and celebrate their individuality and the community itself.

Ethan, Jinx and Pixie have created the True Self 2020/21 Report, which reflects on what’s been going on over the past year within the project. It gives an in-depth insight into what True Self members have up to; from training, in subjects such as equality and diversity, podcasting and mental health first aid, to having the opportunity to meet and hang out with other local members of the LGBTQ+ community. True Self also offers one-to-one peer guidance and support, trips and peer-led group activities, and counselling with an experienced LGBTQ+ counsellor.

Perhaps most importantly, the True Self Report contains first-hand accounts from True Self members as to how important True Self is, and the impact it’s had for them personally. 

A few excerpts from quotes;

“True Self has given me a safe space to talk about my experiences with people who understand.” – Pixie (They/Them).

“It has opened my mind to the LGBTQ+ community and made me feel more at peace with who I am.” – Ben (He/Him).

“It helps me realise that I’m not alone and there are plenty of people who I can directly talk to about anything I’m going through.” – Skylar (They/Them).

Ethan, True Self project leader, commented; 

“It’s been an amazing experience to see how True Self has developed over this last year and the impact it has had on the young adults that have attended. I have seen them become more confident and comfortable within themselves about their sexuality or gender identity which is a pleasure to see.”

“The project has definitely made it possibly for queer people to meet and talk about topics of their life without feeling judged or guilty with people who know exactly what they’re going through, and that’s what makes True Self special. Everyone is unique but we’re all going through similar stages of our life, which in turn creates powerful bonds and relationships.”

“It’s important this project continues as there isn’t a lot of support out there for young adults in the LGBTQ+ community, and I think the work we’ve done this year just goes to show how vital it is to help these young adults have a safe and welcoming space to be their true selves. They are able to get support and guidance to help them on their journey in ways they may not get in other parts of their life.”