Our Founder’s Story
Hi, my name is Stewart.
I’m queer, non-binary, and use they/them pronouns. I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) during late December 2016.
At the time, I was six months into living in Berlin and excited about the city, but my health took a turn which had me return back to England for treatment.
When home, I tried looking for support I could connect with but I was disappointed to see almost nothing out there for LGBTIQ+ patients. When I went into cancer centres I saw hundreds of leaflets along the wall, but none of them were aimed at me or my community. Even the support groups on offer were gendered and gatekept. I constantly felt like the difficult square peg.
I asked in multiple cancer centres over the years for LGBTIQ+ support and was always met with a fumbling response, an apology and sometimes a disbelief that there was nothing on offer. It left me feeling like I had one foot in the cancer world and the other in the LGBTIQ+ world and didn’t know how to bring the two together.
I felt like that for years.
Eventually, I approached my hospital’s Macmillan Centre to help me start a peer support group for the LGBTIQ+ community and inclusive of all genders and cancers.
The group soon snowballed into a full charity that now supports and connects with people from all over the country (and often elsewhere in the world), educates healthcare to be better in supporting us, and creates bespoke campaigns that centre our experiences.
I am proud that OUTpatients is a patient-led charity so I can confidently say that we are not just here for you, we are here with you.
Watch Stewart's video
OUTpatients provides a safe space for anyone who identifies as part of the queer spectrum and has had an experience with any kind of cancer – at any stage. For more tailored support, please use the following links.