About Me

About Me

My Story

My name is Abbie, I’m 29, I’m pansexual and I’m Jewish.

When I left school to go to college to study photography I was struggling with my own identity. I had experienced bullying during my secondary school years targeted at my religion and the way in which I identified. This left me with a total lack of confidence in who I thought I was or the person I wanted to be. At college I undertook a project where I photographed myself every day, experimenting with my hair, the use of wigs, makeup, the way I dressed, trying to find that elusive ‘box’ to fit in to that felt right, trying to find ways that expressed who I was, beyond the labels I had been given.

At university, I joined the LGBTQIA+ society and met others who were struggling to express the truth of themselves to the world. We embarked on a photography project called ‘double take’, aiming to make the viewer think again about their assumptions and ideals on what they were seeing. I was fortunate enough to exhibit this work in London.

In my 3rd year I developed a passion for mentoring the 1st year students and decided to pursue this by undertaking a PGCE in post 16+ education. Whilst I loved teaching, I found that the support for LGBTQIA+ students was lacking. I developed an after-hours club called ‘safe space’ where LGBTQIA+ students could learn about sexual health and mental health, and I often had guest speakers from different LGBTQIA+ organisations deliver talks.

During some time spent supply teaching I received a lot of student disclosures about their LGBTQIA+ status. The sheer lack of support available to these students inspired me to sign up for a Level 3 counselling skills qualification. At first, I wanted to boost my methods in listening and not offering my opinions.  I loved the course and it developed an interest to learn more about the different types of counselling that can be delivered. I progressed to the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Part of the requirements for the course was completing a 100 hours placement. I passionately wanted to do a placement with an LGBTQIA+ organisation, as I knew from experience and from friends how damaging counselling can be if counsellors aren’t specifically LGBTQIA+/trans friendly.

I was extremely lucky to be given the opportunity to do my placement with SPECTRA CIC. Spectra are a charitable organisation that provide sexual health services and counselling to Transgender and nonbinary clients. Having experienced a lack of transgender/nonbinary-based education when we did our equality and diversity module, I undertook a research project to explore whether ‘Transgender specific training is essential to Transgender counselling?’ with a view to finding out ‘Do counsellors need to be trained/have knowledge in Transgender issues such as medical transition and hormone treatment to be able to work effectively with clients who fall under the Transgender umbrella?’

Now I am fully qualified, I feel privileged to be in a position to help and support the LGBTQ+ community, their ally’s and anyone wanting to understand more about allyship of this marginalised group.

So has my personal journey of discovery helped me find my ‘box’?  The answer is actually no! What I have found is there are multiple boxes that I can very happily live between, and I am confident I can help others do the same and live their best lives.


Have Any Questions?

Have you looked at my website but still have some questions, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.