Each year, during the month of June, the LGBT community across the globe celebrates Pride. June was chosen in order to commemorate the Stonewall Riots as they took place in June way back in 1969. The riots were prompted by a raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. In response to the raid and the subsequent arrests of members of the LGBT community, a series of demonstrations were held in protest which called for the establishment of places gays and lesbians could go to and be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest.
Pride Month is important because it marks the start of what was a huge change within the LGBT+ community, and wider society. Although attitudes and injustice still remain, there has been a great deal of progress since the riots of 1969. By participating in Pride, we celebrate sexual diversity, continue to raise awareness, improve the attitudes of society and encourage inclusiveness. #Pride2020
In Preston we usually celebrate Preston Pride in September however, this year things are a clearly a little different (due to Covid) so we are joining the rest of the world in celebrating throughout June.
If you would like to support the first NHS Virtual Pride on the Friday 26th June, please search on Twitter for @NHSVirtualPride .
We will be raising the Pride flag across both hospital sites throughout the month and thought it would be good to share some facts about the Pride flag with you.
- The flag was designed by Gilbert Baker from San Francisco in 1976 following a challenge from Harvey Milk to come up with a symbol of pride for the community.
- Originally the flag had 8 colours that reflected the diversity of the LGBT community.
- The original pride flag flew during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on 25th June 1978.
- 30 volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the first two flags for the Gay Freedom Day Parade.
- The hot pink colour as later dropped due to the unavailability of the fabric when the flag went into production after the assassination of Harvey Milk. Later the turquoise stripe was dropped to give the flag an even number.
- Each colour of the flag has a meaning; Red (life and sexuality), Orange (healing and friendship), Yellow (vitality and energy), Green (serenity and nature), Blue (harmony and artistry) and finally Purple (spirit and gratitude)
There are a growing number of LGBT Pride flags, recognising different elements within the community, this link explains what each of them mean. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/06/26/all-of-the-flags-you-might-see-at-pride-and-what-they-mean/
In a time when we cannot be together to celebrate, we wanted to share with you some photographs from past events and what we have actioned over the years.
Through our LGBTQ Inclusion Ambassador forum, we have been able to understand what might help support our LGBTQ colleagues (and patients) and have been able to take actions as a result which we hope are making a positive difference. Here are some examples:
Request: Education/support in respect of gender identification/pronouns.
Action: Arranged a presentation from Lancashire LGBTQ branch by Dr Lewis Turner. Updated essential training to make more comprehensive. Included gender identification/pronouns within the Rainbow Badge e-learning.
Request: Creation of gender neutral toilet areas.
Action: Director of Estates is identifying public toilet areas which could be remodelled to support gender neutral toilet spaces. The organisation has also committed to factoring gender neutral toilets into any new builds or redesigns.
Request: A forum for LGBTQ staff (and allies) to be able to raise concerns.
Action: Our LGBTQ Inclusion Ambassador forum has been in place for approximately 2 years now; the forum minutes and agenda are posted on our Trust e-learning and development site.
Request: Implement national rainbow badge initiative locally.
Action: Purchased and distributed thousands of rainbow badges alongside training to empower people to support LGBT staff and patients.
Request: Have a presence at Preston Pride
Action: We have attended Preston Pride for the last 2 years, engaging with members of our community, demonstrating support for the LGBT community and asking for feedback which informs service provision.
Our Inclusion Ambassador Forums (BAME, Living with Disability, Multi Faith and LGBTQ+) provide our staff with a voice, an opportunity to come together and explore issues affecting them with a view to taking actions which make a positive difference to all. We are holding a virtual forum for the LGBTQ+ Inclusion Ambassadors on Monday 8th June at 10am. If you wish to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org you would be more than welcome.
We are committed to advancing inclusion in our organisation, we are one team, a work family and your experiences, ideas and opinions matter.
If you have any suggestions on what we can do to help and support our LGBTQ patient population and wider community, please send your thoughts and ideas to us at email@example.com
During these trying times, where there are periods of significant changes to our lives and where some of our usual or trusted support mechanisms aren’t as easily accessible we recognise that the LGBTQ+ community can be at a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health.
Please find below a list of organisation that can help, assist and support:
LGBTQ Foundation - Provides a wide range of support
Helpline: 0345 3 30 30 30 weekdays 9am-9pm weekend 10am-6pm
Switchboard – Provides information, support and referral service
Helpline: 0300 330 0630
The Proud Trust – A life saving and life enhancing organisation that helps LGBT+ and young people.
Micro rainbow – runs safe housing dedicated solely to LGBT, asylum seekers and refugees,
Regard - for LGBTQ who self-identify as disabled.
George House Trust – provides service for people living with, and affected by HIV
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.