How The Serenity Cafe has helped me - *Peter 

I was bullied at school and told off for crying – so I learnt to hide my feelings.

I started to have identity issues from my early 20’s. I had lots of problems within my own family because none of them were able to accept me or how I was feeling about myself and as a result I started to feel isolated. I became very anxious as a result. I also felt different and at the age of 53, I was given a formal diagnosis of Asperger’s, which only came about as I saw a stand in locum GP who referred me for testing.

All of this messed up the relationships in my life, and troubles seemed to escalate, such as teenagers being verbally abusive. There have been times when I was threatened with a knife which I believe was due to me being transgender.

When my sex change operation went wrong, my mental health went downhill and this seemed to be a culmination of all the things that had happened in my life. I now consider myself to be non-binary.

The Serenity Café has enabled me to have a safe space to come and I don’t have to worry that I wouldn’t be accepted. I feel safe there. I would be lonely and on my own, so having this to come to makes my life better and I can spend some time with other people, which, I have always found hard to do.

*not their real name