Before working at an LGBT charity and being ‘out on the scene’ (going to LGBTQ venues), I started going to a group for LGBTQ Christians and people of faith.

This was where I met my friend Adam and haven’t looked back. Now I’m a member of London Frontrunners, the LGBTQ running club. These groups and the friends I’ve met have let me be me.

Local LGBTQ groups and events can be vital, providing a space where you can just be your identity, rather than explaining or justifying your identity to anyone.

They also provide a chance to meet people away from the bars and alcohol.

These community groups keep going and thriving because of the time, money and effort that people generously put into them.

Pride events, especially outside our big cities, only thrive because local LGBTQ people and allies make the events happen.

What local groups and events are in your area? One I’m going to learn about today in area is Rainbow Growers. Your local council website might list some groups in your area.

There’s also lots of groups on Facebook and Twitter that you can support and be a part of.