Viewport width =
July 15, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter


The queer community, more than any other I’ve encountered, is good at supporting its members. There are innumerable self-organised groups where people look after each other, and we’re united not by political ideologies, or even by a common cause, but by shared experiences. Yes, everyone’s experience is unique, and discrimination within our community (think misogynistic cis gay men, or transphobic basically everyone), is a significant problem that needs more airtime, but the love that I’ve received, and the caring it inspires in response, is wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I couldn’t count the times I have sat down or cuddled with a good friend, or with someone I barely knew, and we opened our hearts to each other about our sexualities, gender identities, sex lives, emotional states, insecurities, and so on. It’s an intensely personal thing to do, and I suspect much more common in queer spaces, but goddamn is it tiring.

Something it has taken me a long time to learn is that you can be of no help to anyone if you are too exhausted to help yourself. Self-love and self-care are both critically important for you to be able to offer help to those around you, so take the time to work out what it is that makes you feel good. Maybe you need to take a shit-tonne of selfies and put them on Tumblr. Maybe you need to wank three times in a row and enter a post-orgasmic daze. Maybe you need to take a day (or way, way longer) out and read a book, or sleep heaps, or go for a long walk once in a while. Maybe you need to see your friends more, or less, or drop out of a paper at uni, or buy kickarse new shoes.

Or maybe you need to ask for help yourself. With so many people you feel you can help it’s dangerously easy to get swept up and take their problems. Check yourself once in a while, and don’t be afraid to reach out. As I said, this community has a lot of love to give.

If you’d like someone to talk to, you can contact UniQ’s Queer Mentoring programme by visiting and following the link on the homepage, or for professional help, contact Vic’s Student Counselling Service, which is free for domestic students.

This column was largely inspired by a workshop from the amazing and wonderful group School’s Out, which works with queer youth to make the world a significantly better place. Email if you want to learn more or volunteer!

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. There’s a New Editor
  2. An (im)possible dream: Living Wage for Vic Books
  3. Salient and VUW tussle over Official Information Act requests
  4. One Ocean
  5. Orphanage voluntourism a harmful exercise
  6. Interview with Grayson Gilmour
  7. Political Round Up
  8. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute
  9. Presidential Address
  10. Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?

Editor's Pick

In Which a Boy Leaves

: - SPONSORED - I’ve always been a fairly lucky kid. I essentially lucked out at birth, being born white, male, heterosexual, to a well off family. My life was never going to be particularly hard. And so my tale begins, with another stroke of sheer luck. After my girlfriend sugge