We share our colleague’s thoughts this Pride Month
As part of Pride Month one of Community Integrated Care’s Executive Team, Managing Director for our Central Region, Candice York, has penned her thoughts on Pride, why we need to recognise this month and how we can support LGBTQIA+ communities.
“Why do we even have Pride, surely we’re all just equal anyway?” Said with the best of intentions but completely missing the point and completely oblivious to the true reality.
I felt my face go warm and my brain click into overdrive. I took a deep breath and said, “if we’re all equal, then why do people from the LGBTQIA+ community still have to justify why they love who they love in a way that most heterosexual people don’t? Why do they have to “come out” to people they’ve just met and fear rejection when coming out to those closest to them? Why do they have to be exposed to intrusive questions from curious onlookers and alter their behaviour in public settings because who they really are could lead to violent abuse from strangers? Why are they still criminalised and even killed in countries across the world and why is there still a lack of positive representation of certain members of the community in the media?” This was my response to a thoughtless, ill informed, albeit well meaning, question and it didn’t even begin to cover why there is still a lack of equality for members of the LGBTQIA+ community in 2022.
A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about the Stonewall riots and that moment in history when the actions of a black drag queen and a transgender woman acted as a catalyst for the gay liberation movement. That same Google search will also churn out statistic after statistic related to the disproportionate rates of mental ill health suffered by members of the LGBTQIA+ community from children to older people, as well as the ever increasing number of online and physical transphobic attacks occurring all over the world.
So why Pride?
In June, the colourful rainbow flag is flown with pride and is a symbol of love and acceptance and a celebration of diversity. Pride Month is one of the tools we have for celebrating how far the community has come as well as educating everyone about why there is so much further to go. Although massive strides have been taken since the riots of 1969, there is still a huge gap in terms of equality that needs to be closed. Pride Month serves as a way for the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies to come together, be visible and remind us all how important standing up for our rights is.”