Last Updated: 1 December 2011
Wellington Gay and Lesbian Helpline
One of the key services of Gay Wellington is the Wellington Gay and Lesbian Helpline. This is an information and advice phone service.
We offer caring and confidential support, information and acceptance to callers. As well as serving the gay and lesbian community, Helpline responds to those who have an interest in gay and sexual orientation issues.
The Helpline is an important point of contact for those beginning to come to terms with their sexual orientation. For some people, connecting with a person who understands what it is like to live as gay or lesbian is an extremely encouraging experience. Talking through their journey through life is a way to come to a place of acceptance and pride in themselves and their sexuality.
At the same time, the Helpline is much more than just a source of guidance and an open ear – it is also a useful resource for those in the gay and lesbian community. The Helpline operates as a reference point for gay or gay-friendly accommodation, venues, groups and activities in the wider Wellington area.
The story behind this phone service goes back over 25 years. In 1979, it was known as Gay Switchboard, a service that catered to men coming out in the Wellington region. After Lesbian Line closed a number of years ago, the GWGW service adapted and changed to meet the needs of women as well as men.
The Helpline is currently staffed by a diverse group of gay men and lesbians who, like the callers, are from all different backgrounds. Volunteers go through a careful selection process and then receive regular training in how to give callers the support they need. Training is based on counselling techniques as well as the volunteer’s personal experiences as a gay or lesbian person.
The primary practice of our phone volunteers is to listen. If required, non-directive and reflective advice can be given over a range of issues such as safe sex, legal rights, access to counselling, and relationship problems. If the volunteer on duty that night is unable to help you, then staff on following evenings may very well have further insight into your situation.
The Helpline attracts callers from the Wellington region, the lower North island and occasionally the upper South island.
When should I call Wellington Gay and Lesbian Helpline?
- You are coming to terms with your sexuality for the first time
- You just want to talk
- You are experiencing relationship issues
- You want more information about the gay or lesbian lifestyle
- You want to know what groups, venues and events there are for gay and lesbian people in Wellington
Phone: (04) 473 7878 Sunday night from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. (However, we do offer a confidential voice message system and we can make call backs)
Postal address: PO Box 11-372, Manners Street, Wellington, New Zealand