All over the world, people have been growing moustaches or a ‘Mo’, in the name of Movember.
The charity, raises money for men’s health, including prostate and testicular cancer.
But the cause that has caught the spirit of my ‘Move’embering – I’ve been walking to fundraise instead of growing a ‘tash’ – is mental health.
Globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide. In the United Kingdom, 75% of suicides are men.
And if you are LGBT and young, you are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than your peers.
I’m a gay/queer cisgender man who tried to take my life in university.
So I wanted to find out how the money I was raising was supporting others in the queer community all over the world.
What LGBT+ projects does Movember fund?
Movember has funded many LGBT projects globally over the last few years.
The charity does this because they say “Multiple studies have found that non-heterosexual people face up to twice as much abuse or violence (including physical, mental, sexual or emotional) than their heterosexual counterparts.
“Prejudice and discrimination add a layer of risk on top of other factors which can lead to depression, anxiety and suicide.”
With this knowledge, the charity has shown their solidarity with the global LGBT community, including with the release of Movember’s Iconic Pride Mo pins in 2016.
Movember told me “Creating a badge that gave a nod to the LGBT community was a great way to let them know they are important and valued members of our Mo community.”
But even before the badges the LGBT community to share stories about their fundraising efforts, which we loved.
And indeed a global community of LGBT people have joined together on the Movember platform to raise money together. As a global community, the group has raised £25,000 for the charity.
All of this has made it possible for Movember to fund a number of substantial global LGBT campaigns.
Stop. Think. Respect
Created by beyondblue in Australia, the campaign aims to reduce the impact of anxiety and depression within LGBTI communities by tackling discrimination.
The project made the incredibly viral ‘left handed’ video campaign targeted to ‘mainstream’ community.
Using a left-handed analogy to present the message that subtle and overt discrimination can have significant health impacts contributing to depression and anxiety among gay, lesbian, bi, trans and intersex people.
This video was complemented by ‘The Real Life stories campaign’ which told the stories of six different LGBT voices who shared how discrimination has impacted on their mental health. Before following the process, they went through to seek support for depression or anxiety and their journeys towards recovery.
Also, in Australia, Wingmen is a mental health support hub for gay men.
According to research by the National LGBTI Health Alliance, gay men felt most comfortable turning to other gay men for emotional support, but many were unsure how to support their mates and worried about saying the wrong thing.
Wingmen were developed with Movember funding to address that need:
In Canada, Movember also funded M.bodiment, by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.
The online hub aims to tackle body image stigmas within the LGBT community.
Their video series offers a personal perspective of what it can be like growing up gay or trans, and the issues that an individual may face.
The goal of this Movember project is to open a dialogue about gay, bi, trans, and queer men’s body image and the possible knock-on health implications.
In this empowering edition, the men are asked to remove an article of clothing if they have ever not felt ‘man enough:’
It’s never too late to donate to Movember as people all over the world grow a ‘Mo’ or walk to fundraise money for the mens health charity. Donate to my fundraising here, or to the global LGBT fundraiser.