In 2010 Keith Ineson, a chaplain from Cheshire, set up a helpline for gay farmers. It was the first and only in the UK, as it remains today. As a gay man from a farming background Keith cites the unique isolation that a gay farmer can experience as the main reason for starting the helpline. ’What I'm finding when gay farmers ring up’, says Keith, ‘is that they think they are the only gay farmer in the world.’
There can be a unique pressure in the farming community to get married and produce an heir, and it can leave people feeling trapped by their circumstance. The aim of the helpline is not to solve these issues but rather to lend an ear to a group of people who so often cannot speak freely. As Keith puts it: ‘We listen, it’s as simple as that’.
For more information on the helpline and other organisations that may be able to help, please see the links below.