What does Pride mean to me?
What does Pride mean to me? By Ashley Ho, Respiratory Nurse Specialist and Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network.
“Pride means many different things to me. There are elements of celebration but first and foremost it is a protest. This is something I feel should not be forgotten. Some parts of the community have won legal rights in some countries around the world, but this is not enough.
“Until we are all free to live authentically without any fear then Pride must remain a protest.
The last few years in the UK has seen an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, much of this directed at the trans community. This rhetoric has fuelled significant increases in reported hate crimes. According to Stonewall 1 in 5 LGBT people and 2 in 5 trans people experienced a hate crime in 2017. This shows why Pride is just as relevant now as it was at the time of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
“On a more personal note, Pride means being my true self, unapologetically. I try my best every day to be brave, live my truth and take up space for myself and the whole community. I am very lucky to be surrounded by some wonderful people who lift me up and support me, but I am acutely aware that not everyone has this privilege.
“If you would like to learn more about Pride or lend your support, we would love you to join our staff network. We welcome allies as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Finally, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy Pride Month and please reach out to us if you need support!”