I was named and shamed for both my schizophrenia and being transgender

Karim: Society can be cruel but I wear my label of schizophrenia proudly

At the age of two I was adopted. I was a mixed heritage child, placed with a white family. My early recollections were of brutality. I was born in the mid-50s. My white mother and I were sitting on a train and a man verbally abused my mother because he thought she was married to a black man. Racial tension was blatant. I saw my first black person at the age of 12 because we lived in the quaint streets of suburbia.

Coming out about my mental health and sexual orientation

The realisation that I may not be entirely straight did not sit well with me at first. At 19 I felt I was somehow late to the party and had missed out on some important LGBT rite of passage (no, I don’t know what either). Throughout my teenage years I struggled with a depression that consumed all aspects of my life, and ultimately left me more interested in controlling my suicidal urges than kissing someone. In hindsight, I think this was probably what resulted in me essentially not noticing that I wasn’t straight.

Brighton Pride – our presence with Time To Change

As many of you may know, Brighton Village was held on Saturday 3rd August 2013. When I am home for the summer, Brighton is just over an hour on the train away so I knew I had to go this year. I have been a huge supporter of Time to Change for a long time now and am a registered Champion. I applied for a volunteering position with them at the beginning of June.

Getting moving on World Mental Health Day - what a day!

What an honour it was to spend World Mental Health Day with Olympic gold medallist Philips Idowu on our walk through Camden to the fantastic Time to Get Moving event at the N1 shopping centre in Islington. We were met on arrival by some great Bollywood dancing, which got the crowds active and the message across.

And I learnt some fascinating triva from Philips en route too - did you know that he can jump the length of a bendy bus?! His amazing athletic skills aside, it's fantastic to have Philips on board supporting Time to Change.