What you can do
Come Out For LGBT - Jake Graf and Linda Riley

Linda Riley

PUBLISHER OF DIVA

I came out in the late 1970s. LGBT equality has moved a lot further since then. We have marriage equality, more employment rights, rights for LGBT parents – 30 years ago they weren’t there.

Couples would break up and the non-biological parent would be left with no rights. Now if lesbian couples break up, the non-biological parent has a lot more rights and can be on the birth certificate. That’s all quite recent progress.

 I was given a choice by my family: electro-convulsive therapy or get out. I left. 

When I came out I was 15. I was given a choice by my family: electro-convulsive therapy or get out. I left. 

I would have had massive problems, but two lesbians from the community took me in and gave me a place to live. Just out of the kindness of their hearts – I was 15, I had no income, no money for rent. The community looked after me, and I remember that all the time. It felt like the LGBT community became my family.  

The community looked after me, and I remember that all the time.

What happened to me then is still happening to people even now. It’s a heartbreaking thing. You can’t ever recover from it.

I hope this campaign gives everyone the chance to see more LGBT role models and know that it’s ok to be yourself.

Linda Riley (right of image)