Published

By nacro

in Nacro news

At Nacro, we are proud to support LGBTQ+ people every month of the year, as well as promoting Pride Month within our services and to our staff.

Proud not Stressed: A blog by Emma, our Media & Stories Manager

For most, the rainbow-ification of June is a time for celebration. I am lucky enough to oversee Pride celebrations for my rowing club, The London Otters, which is the UK’s largest (and potentially only) LGBTQ+ rowing club. So, Pride Month had become a slightly inconvenient glitter-coated stress, as I organise 140 Pride-giddy rowers into parades, photoshoots, videos, and parties.

This was until 4am on Sunday 12 June, when I was awoken by a phone call from two friends. They were in a police station and needed help getting home safely. They had been attacked by a group for kissing in the street, but not one of their attackers had been apprehended.

In just a few short minutes, I was reminded why Pride Month is not just a happy time of celebration, but a protest – a declaration of our existence and our right to exist with the same rights, freedoms and safety as heterosexual, cis-gender people.

I’ve always considered myself incredibly lucky, that I had a very easy coming- out journey. When I told my parents I was bisexual it was greeted with a “yes darling, we knew when you become unreasonably obsessed with Skye from Neighbours…but also Stingray”.

My Nana recently voted to ensure gay marriage could take place in Methodist churches, so when I ‘eventually find someone nice to marry’, it’s happening in a church either way.

Whenever a LGBTQ+ person joins a new place of work, they come out again. It tends to get easier every time.

I couldn’t even tell you at what point my colleagues here at Nacro became aware, but I imagine it was during one of our enthusiastic discussions on celebrity crushes, (Lily James and Jason Momoa, in case you’re interested/have a cardboard cut-out going spare.)

It has never been treated as my whole personality, which is a small but deeply meaningful step.

We have a very strong EDI committee at Nacro and good policies, such as a non-gendered adoption and surrogacy policy, large swaths of the organisation have pronouns in their signature.

Seemingly small steps like this help people feel comfortable in themselves, so if you haven’t already, consider showing your pronouns!

So, this month I will be proud. Not stressed.

Proud to work somewhere that is striving for equality and inclusion for its workforce, proud to represent my community in the sport I love, proud to keep this 50 year fight for equality going.

And I’m asking you to join me, as an ally or LGBTQ+ person. So, when me or my friends kiss the person we fancy, we can do it without the imminent threat of a black eye and broken rib.

So, the 12 countries who will sentence me to the death penalty for being alive, will abolish their archaic laws.

Thank you for taking time this month to read my big bisexual blog; for taking the time to make yourself aware and involved, and for not pointing out that I am still covered in glitter from the weekend.

What is Pride month? 

Fifty years ago, in the USA, eight police officers raided the Stonewall Inn— a gay bar in New York City. Raids like these were a common occurrence in America and the UK, where police still had the power to arrest LGBTQ+ people simply for not being straight.

However, on June 28, 1969, Stonewall Inn fought back against this discrimination. Hundreds of LGBTQ+ people resisted police violence and stood up to the oppressive authorities.

Each year the month of June is dedicated to LGBTQ+ Pride in many countries around the world to commemorate the Stonewall riots and raise awareness of the social and political inequalities faced by LGBTQ+ people.

Pride began with a protest, and Pride month should continue to carve out space in the calendar for LGBTQ+ people and allies to show up and call out the injustices still faced by the community.