Nat Graham said coming out was a positive experience. She felt safe, loved and supported by the people closest to her.

But for others it isn't' that easy.

That's why the Morden woman will be putting on the boxing gloves and stepping into the ring next month to raise money for charity.

Nat has lived in Morden for the past seven years and is calling on others to support the Albert Kennedy Trust during the Courage Boxing event on March 19.

AKT supports young LGBTQ+ people who are homeless or living in a hostile environment after coming out to their families and loved ones.

"For those who are not so lucky, coming out can be extremely traumatic," Nat said.

Wimbledon Times:

Picture: Stefan Hanegraaf

"Young people whose families reject them for who they are can find themselves facing homelessness, or living in a dangerous and hostile environment."

AKT offers housing, mentoring and support to people in this situation, so that no one has to choose between a safe home and being who they are.

"I took part in the first Courage Boxing event last year, stepping into the ring for the first time in my life in October on National Coming Out Day," Nat added.

"The entire experience was absolutely unforgettable.

"Having previously never boxed before in my life, after just eight weeks of training I was about to go into the ring and fight another person, surrounded by bright lights and a cheering crowd.

"I had to channel all of my fear, excitement and adrenaline into that moment, and push myself harder than I had ever pushed before."


She said she remembers very little from the fight.

Friends' voices cheering her name. Her cornerman coach Dave shouting at her to keep her guard up and throw the jab.

"Throughout the training I had constantly been testing my physically and mental capacities, stretching my limits and challenging myself to go further than I thought was possible," she added.

"But the fight itself took this to a whole new level. I emerged from the ring having pushed myself harder than ever before, and I found I had a new sense of perspective on what I was capable of achieving.

Wimbledon Times:

Picture: Stefan Hanegraaf

The whole experience was so amazing that when a second Courage event was announced this year she immediately signed herself up.

"I feel boxing has allowed me to grow as a person, stand up for myself more, and feel my own worth," she finished.

"As an LGBTQ+ person this is hugely significant for me and it feels like an extraordinary gift.

"By taking part in Courage, not only are we raising money to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community, we are also allowing ourselves the chance to prove our worth and show the world what the queer community is really capable of."

For those wishing to head down on the night you can buy tickets here.