Sudden Loss: information for LGBTI People

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people are no different from any other bereaved partner in a marriage or other heterosexual relationship. 

However, some people with same-sex partners may experience particular difficulties after bereavement. 

Difficulties can sometimes arise if, for example, family or some friends do not know about the relationship. A partner or friends may be excluded from the funeral arrangements and even if the family knew of the relationship, they might not acknowledge its significance, or may even be hostile. If this is the case, it might help to ask a friend to act as an intermediary between the bereaved partner and the family.

An LGBTI partner may have to cope with the added distress caused by some people's ignorance or failure to understand the depth and maturity of the relationship, which might mean that their bereavement isn't acknowledged at work for example, or people may expect them to recover more quickly. The relationship could be made public at the inquest and reported in the press, which may add to the distress of the bereaved partner, relatives and friends. Other couples may be living outside what is sometimes called the 'scene' or feel uncomfortable about accessing LGBTI services. 

It may help to talk to friends and family about how you feel and/or contact organisations that can offer support such as those listed below and in the Useful Contacts section of this guide, even if you have never been involved previously.

Useful Contacts: