Your London Friend Stories
We asked you to submit your stories of your personal experience with London Friend - and you did! Thank you for your contributions and kind words.
You can still share your story through the link in the box below. We want to hear from you!
I worked on the phone helpline a couple of times a week for 20 years from 1980. Its was set up initially to help people to come out.
One night I had a call from a young man in Scotland. He had been brought up by a foster mother who had told him "You are very good-looking. you must never use this to take advantage of people." When he was in his late teens and had started work, he met an older man there who liked him.
Remembering his foster-mother's advice, he was cautious about starting a relationship with him. The older man went away on a training course and while he was away, another man at work made advances, telling him that the first man had been taking advantage of him! He couldn't believe this story and rejected him and the first older man.
Some months later the young man came down to London to attend a wedding. He saw all those happy people around him and realised he was still thinking of the first older man. What should he do? Would the older man still be happy to hear from him? I suggested he sent the man a postcard from London, asking if they might meet and talk. He didn't do that.
He phoned the older man in Scotland. The man was so delighted to hear from him that he said he would come down to London to meet him on the next train. The young man phoned London Friend again to tell me this and ask if I knew an hotel where they might stay together, and so they did!
This call came at the stage when I had worked on the phones for a few years and was beginning to wonder if it was worthwhile. It inspired me to continue.
Following the death of my mother, under pretty horrible circumstances, I sought the support of counselling services at London Friend. Right from the get-go, communication was clear and the counselling, when I received it was such a positive experience. I have had counselling at other times in my life, but there was something particularly supportive in accessing an LGBT service, that allowed me to feel comfortable and get the best from the experience. Thank you!
My name is Jude and I learned about London Friend online while battling with depression and struggling to accept myself. They provided me with a safe space to talk about my insecurities and sexuality with no prejudice. Through their facilities, I have been able to make new friends who help me navigate through this life because at the end of the day, we are all alone in this together.
About 3 years ago now I was linking with London Friend and then Antidote and received a block of counselling with Simon, who has now left the service. Simon was a well-known face at London Friend and other LGBT initiatives related to chemsex in particular. In many ways, Simon was my main exposure to London Friend. He was always a down to earth guy who really wanted to help people and went the extra mile so he represented the London Friend/Antidote brand extremely well.
London Friend are the nicer of various services I have connected with, as some will just accuse you of not being serious. Keep up the overall good work. You are a well a known name and it’s important that the LGBT community has places like London Friend.
I recently came out as a gay man and found the Talking Point support group both helpful and reassuring. Being both gay and disabled (I am a wheelchair user) is challenging enough on your own but since my decision to finally come out, I am grateful for the kind of services offered by London Friend in helping me and others move forward with much more confidence and belief in ourselves. I would highly recommend London Friend to anyone else who, like me, is just starting out on their own personal journey. It is important to know that are not alone in the world if you have a friend in London Friend.
James and Sham
Just as we're celebrating our 50th birthday, James and Sham celebrated their 25th anniversary after having met at Turning Point, our support group for queer men. Listen to their full story on this link. Happy anniversary to them!
Share your London Friend Story
50 Years of shared experience, stories, and friendship: we’d love to hear from you.
We’d love to hear your stories of London Friend.
Are you a previous volunteer? Have you been supported by our ground-breaking Antidote service? Did you come out thanks to one of our social groups?
If you are happy with London Friend publishing your story, please follow the link below to the London Friend site where you will find a form to submit your story. Feel free to use a different name if you are uncomfortable using your own.