'I am sick of being referred to as the only gay in the village': LGBTQIA+ support group opens to fight adversity
PUBLISHED: 10:13 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 27 February 2019
A student has launched an LGBTQIA+ support group in Beccles after he was "sick of being referred to as the only gay in the village".
James Gallacher, opened the Facebook page as a space where everyone can “help support the pride in Beccles and to increase awareness”.
The 23-year-old said: “Mainly now I’m just trying to get people to be more open and embrace who they are - a lot of LGBTQIA+ people in Beccles are in the closet or lie.
“I dated a guy a while back who wanted an under-the-hat relationship as being out could hurt his career.”
The LGBTQIA+ group, which refers to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual, meet on a regular basis at the Graze pub in Beccles.
Transgender woman, Becky Hutchison said she continues to face adversity within the town but “90pc of people in Beccles are fine”.
The 53-year-old, who originally hails from North London, said: “I work in a shop and people say to me ‘you are so brave’, but I am not brave, I am just being me.”
While working at the East of England Co-op, Miss Hutchison said: “Some people just use the wrong words and they still misgender.
“They call me he or ‘the thing over there’ which really hurts me.”
“The advice I would give to them would be to be yourself and don’t hide, have pride don’t hide.”
Kara Glass, who also lives in Beccles, said the area lacks LGBTQIA+ support, the dating scene is “dire” and there aren’t a lot of places people can meet up.
She said: “I feel like it is generally a lot more accepted now and this year Waveney will be having their first pride festival.
“It’s hard to date in small places like Lowestoft and Beccles, even though there are LGBT+ people, they seem very few and far in between.
“I’ve experienced more homophobia in this county than I have in London, which is a shame really. We are progressing in the LGBT+ community but there is still a lot more work to do.”