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Author: Joey

#PrideEveryDay Day 30: Looking back

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It’s the final day of Pride Month. Whether you’ve followed the calendar every day or dipped into it on some days, I hope you’ve learnt more about LGBTQ history, identities and arts and culture.

Use today as a chance to tell someone what you’ve learnt or enjoyed. It could be the same person or group of people you spoke to on day one about why this month matters to you.

I’ve really enjoyed listening to LGBTQ podcasts and being a new regular listener to Nancy. I’ve learnt more about intersex rights.

I’ve thought about the impact of the words and acronyms I choose to use. I’ve realised the power of an LGBTQ community isn’t a shared identity, but a shared movement for human rights and equality.

What have you learnt and enjoyed? Who can you keep sharing that with after Pride Month?

Thanks for reading and taking part! I’d love to hear what you’ve learnt, and your feedback on the calendar.

Please keep sharing, learning and standing up for LGBTQ rights.

#PrideEveryDay Day 29: Take action

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I hope this month you’ve learnt about some inspiration role models and the discrimination that LGBTQ people can face.

Today is a chance to think how you can help end that discrimination. What can you do where you study, live or work to increase LGBTQ inclusion?

Here’s some ideas:

  • There are specific days to mark and celebrate LGBTQ identities throughout the year. The next of these is International Non-Binary People’s Day on 14th July. Could you put up a post about it at work?
  • Earlier this month we looked at different LGBTQ groups. Could you hold a fundraising event for one? It could be the 2020 classic Zoom quiz or a personal challenge like a sponsored run.
  • Does your workplace have gender neutral toilets? Who can help you introduce them?
  • Get involved with or set up an LGBTQ network where you work or study. These groups need the support of allies as well.
  • Suggest people say what their pronouns at the start of meeting and introductions, along with their names.
  • Find out when your local Pride is. Could your workplace support it? Local pride organisations need support all year round to make their activities happen.
  • Ask your LGBTQ friends how they are, especially when you hear news that might matter to them.
  • Keep being a visible role model or ally. Keep learning about LGBTQ history and identities. Keep using your voice.

There’s no shortage of actions you can take. Think about what you’re passionate about , what you can do and who can help you to make the most effective change.

What will you change?

#PrideEveryDay Day 28: Five ways to be a visible LGBTQ Role Model or Ally today (and every day)

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Wear it

I wear my rainbow laces everywhere and people really do notice. There’s no shortage of t-shirts and badges you can buy with LGBTQ inclusive messages.

Tell your friends

Use your social media accounts to share LGBTQ news stories, role models, campaigns and why it matters to you. You could just share this blog post. Lots of my friends on Facebook are friends I’ve carried with me from school, uni and faith spaces. They may not always hear about LGBTQ inclusion.

Chat with colleagues

Next time you’re in a team meeting or coffee break, ask them if they know it’s been Pride Month Or tell them about that really interesting LGBTQ book or article you read.

Make a change

Have you noticed something that can change in your workplace or community group to be more inclusive of LGBTQ people? Email a leader about what’s wrong, how it can be changed and why it’s important. Offer to talk to them more about it in person.

Speak up

The sad reality is it’s not always safe to be a visible role model or ally:

  • Two in five trans people (41 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.
  • More than a third of LGBT people (36 per cent) say they don’t feel comfortable walking down the street while holding their partner’s hand (Stonewall, 2017).

You can report any homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour that happens to you or you see happening. This could be in your workplace, in public, or online. You can also support your LGBTQ friends when you hear they’ve been a victim of an attack.

It’s your choice of when and how you are a visible LGBTQ role model or ally. It’s OK not to be visible all the time.

#PrideEveryDay Day 24: Thanking role models

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We’re into the last week of the Pride Every Day Calendar. The final days has some actions and reflections to bring together everything we’ve learnt and discovered.

Today’s action is to thank an LGBTQ role model. This could be sending a friend a postcard, baking a cake to share with a neighbour or tweeting your thanks to a famous LGBTQ person.

Remember, our role models aren’t perfect. Your thanks doesn’t need to be profusive or about every part of their life.

What do you especially admire in that person? How have they helped you personally and LGBTQ communities?

Let them know the impact they’ve had, and how much you appreciate it. If you’ve got the time, thank someone else too.

#PrideEveryDay Day 23: Local LGBTQ groups

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Before working at an LGBT charity and being ‘out on the scene’ (going to LGBTQ venues), I started going to a group for LGBTQ Christians and people of faith.

This was where I met my friend Adam and haven’t looked back. Now I’m a member of London Frontrunners, the LGBTQ running club. These groups and the friends I’ve met have let me be me.

Local LGBTQ groups and events can be vital, providing a space where you can just be your identity, rather than explaining or justifying your identity to anyone.

They also provide a chance to meet people away from the bars and alcohol.

These community groups keep going and thriving because of the time, money and effort that people generously put into them.

Pride events, especially outside our big cities, only thrive because local LGBTQ people and allies make the events happen.

What local groups and events are in your area? One I’m going to learn about today in area is Rainbow Growers. Your local council website might list some groups in your area.

There’s also lots of groups on Facebook and Twitter that you can support and be a part of.

#PrideEveryDay 21: Reading

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It’s super easy to find LGBTQ content to read, whether it’s articles from the mainstream or LGBTQ specific press, young adult (YA) novels that never make an identity a problem or poetry, memoirs and history books.

My top tip for finding LGBTQ books to read are the same as finding any book to read:

  • Browse, either online looking through recommendations, bestsellers lists or going into your local bookshop or library. My local council libraries helpfully put all LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction books together in one place. They also have an extensive e-library of books I can borrow and magazine i can read instantly from home while the physical libraries are shut. And if you’re in London, don’t forget about bookshop Gay’s The Word, reopening in July.
  • Ask your friends: currently I’m reading Zami: A New Spelling Of My Name, which a member of our book club recommended we should read and discuss next
  • Keep reading how you want and what you want: it’s good to read what you like and hopefully that will include different voices and different types of books. I’ve recently enjoyed graphic novels/books (Heartstopper and Gender: A Graphic History) as well as poetry (The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta).

So, what’s on your reading list?

#PrideEveryDay Day 20: Dis/abled LGBTQ Role Models

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LGBTQ people who are disabled can experience discrimination in their local LGBT community and are more likely to have experienced homelessness (Stonewall, 2018).

Many local LGBTQ communities are focused on bars and venues, which often lack accessibility for everyone. ParaPride held their first event at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern last year.

One prominent LGBTQ disabled role model and activist is Nyle DiMarco. The American actor and model is deaf and often shares how to sign videos on his social media channels.

Another role model is Claire Harvey, who was the British Sitting Volleyball captain

I’m also thinking about my queer disabled friends and colleagues today, and what I can do and ask them to make sure I’m not unintentionally excluding them.

Who are your dis/abled LGBTQ role models?

#PrideEveryDay Day 18: Non-binary role models

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Non-binary people have a gender identity that sits outside of the (socially constructed) binary where male and female are the only options.

A non-binary person might use gender neutral pronouns they/them, or they might use he or she. They have no legal recognition in the UK.

Non-binary people may or may not also identify as trans people. You cannot say you support trans rights and trans people if you don’t support non-binary people as part of that.

My hometown non-binary role model is food writer Jack Monroe. Fox (a filmmaker) and Owl (a columnist) are a couple, and prominent non-binary people in the media.

I’m also thinking today of my non-binary colleagues and friends. As a friend commented on my piece about trans role models, all trans (including non-binary) people are role models for being themselves when the world constantly tells them not to be.

#PrideEveryDay Day 17: Different generations

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One of my favourite parts of being in my running club London Frontrunners, is chatting to different members. At our recent zoom book club meeting we discussed Tales of the City. Robert share how important the book series was to him when it first came out in the 1970s and 80s.

I’m fortunate that I have amazing queer friendships with LGBTQ people who help me navigate my gay life now. That’s usually means me saying far too too much about my love life. But often those friends at work or at the bar are the same age as me.

Talking to older or younger generations gives a different perspective and insight. For older LGBTQ people, this might be first hand accounts of the AIDS epidemic or their first romances when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK.

For younger LGBTQ people there’s often a fearlessness in sharing their identity and being visible role models and allies to all LGBTQ communities.

We also know that bullying in school and LGBTQ youth homelessness is a huge problem as well as loneliness and isolation for older LGBTQ people.

Today is a chance to hear the stories of people who you don’t always chat with. If you have personal LGBTQ friends who are younger or older, give them a message today.

If you don’t have someone directly to talk to, then you can listen. Find out more about the work of Albert Kennedy Trust or Opening Doors London.

#PrideEveryDay 16: Trans Role Models

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Today I’m thinking of my trans friends and colleagues, for their resilience at a time when trans identities are daily undermined and attacked.

I’m also thinking of Hannah and Jake Graf, who are married and both trans. It’s an absolute joy every time they appear on Lorraine. Hannah was named Stonewall’s Trans Role Model of the Year in 2018.

Stonewall’s Come Out for Trans Equality videos feature lots of trans role models. Remember, being a role model doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being visible in your identity, and having behaviours you admire.

Who’s your trans role models?