"I started identifying as a lesbian quite early into my teens, so my identity has always been something that was incredibly important to me and I spent a lot of time within the scene, especially through outreach in schools. A couple of months before I moved to Bristol I met the man who is now my fiance, and so Bristol has been somewhere where I had to find myself again in almost every sense. It's allowed me so much more space to rediscover who I am through my body image, mental health, and primarily my sexuality."
"Lockdown has brought me back to a very virtual queer space, which is something that I was very used to in my 'baby gay' years. It has been nice to go back to the communities I used to be in, but also it's really brought home how important physical spaces are.
As someone in quite a new place and feeling quite displaced from the LGBTQ+ community, I really wanted to be able to get involved in something that would allow me a path back into inspiring social change and visibility. I think that this was what drew me to the LGBTQ Faces project most, as it meant I could be honest with myself on each interlinking part of my identity and be part of the community again."
"As a working-class queer woman, sociology was always a subject that I was drawn to, and being able to see and understand my own experiences within theory was always fascinating to me. For something like sexuality to be so intimate and personal and yet at the same time be shared by so many people is often something that people don't often recognise, and it's exactly why the LGBTQ community and queer spaces become so important."
Katie wanted to shout out to The Space Youth Project
"SYP was my first real experience of the community, and I owe them absolutely everything! I spent around 5 years with them before I moved to Bristol, and it was such a safe and supportive environment. The main thing that made SYP stand out was always how dedicated they were not only to young people individually but also to empower them to make a difference to those around them, and that's a message that I've always held close."