Members of North Midlands LGBT Older People’s Group

50 years ago, the Stonewall Uprising started a series of riots and demonstrations which became the catalyst for the modern Pride movement.

Three years later, in July 1972, the first official UK Gay Pride Rally took place in London. Pride Month now takes place annually to celebrate the LGBT+ community, promote equality and build community.

Since 1990, 40 countries have decriminalised homosexuality and over 30 have outlawed homophobic hate crimes. As of 2015, over 60 countries legally protect LGBT+ people at work and 15 recognise same-sex marriage.

Despite half a century of pushing for liberation and equality, the number of transgender hate crimes recorded by police forces in England, Scotland and Wales has risen by 81%.

Data acquired by the BBC showed there were 1,944 crimes across 36 forces in the last year compared with 1,073 in 2016-17.

Charities like Stonewall said it showed the "consequences of a society where transphobia is everywhere".

This year’s Pride in London theme is #PrideJubilee, remembering fifty years of activism, protests and victories that have made our movement what it is today.

At the Trust, we work to ensure that where you live does not unfairly reduce the length of your life, or the quality of your health - this includes marginalised people across the LGBT+ community.

Supporting the LGBT+ community is a vital part of our vision and values to create an equal and fairer society for all.

Trust funded LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire provides vital support to young people from the LGBT+ community. Claire Bradley, LGBT+ Specialist Social Worker, explained: “I feel proud to work for the LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire in that we are able to support young people to feel more comfortable, confident and happy in themselves and provide a space where they are able to safely explore who they are with appropriate guidance and support which otherwise they would not be able to access.”

One project member said being involved with the project has helped them feel safe and supported. They said: “It is one of the only places I feel comfortable enough to express my true gender identity, and be around supportive people. The staff have also been of massive help in my transition so far, assisting me at every turn.”

In Staffordshire, the North Midlands LGBT Older People’s Group (OLGBT) supports older people who identify as LGBT. The project provides members with a programme of social activities which includes singing, print and textiles, photography, film animation, baking, pottery and outings.

Maurice Greenham, Chair of North Midlands LGBT Older People’s Group, said: “As an active participant in the OLGBT Wellbeing Project, I am extremely proud of what members of our group have achieved over the course of the project.

“We learned new skills and processes in unexpected areas such as lantern making, bread making, print making and ceramics. Singing workshops brought us together socially as a community and gave us newfound confidence. Some of our outings have been real adventures, like when we went by rail to Liverpool to see the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition.

“Stoke Pride 2019 was the best ever for us…despite heavy rain showers. Having photos of activities and events we’ve held as part of the project on display brought more people than ever to our new gazebos. Never before have we had so many people wanting to be on our mailing list. This has had terrific morale boosting effect on those who volunteered to help on our stall as well on project participants who were unable to be there.”

Talking about the impact of being involved with the project, one member said: “The project has given me a reason to get up in the morning and something to look forward to…bringing something of interest into my life and helping my overall health mentally.”

In recognition of Pride Month, events are held throughout summer across the globe in honour of the celebration.

This Saturday, the Trust will join funded projects Rainbow Films, Transpire Southend and The Centre Place will march in the Pride in London parade. We will be marching to celebrate the achievements of the LGBT+ community and also use it as a platform to challenge prejudice and to continue the fight for equality.

To find out more about Pride in London 2019, click here.

Are you planning to celebrate Pride this year? If so, we would love to hear from you. To send us your pictures and stories, click here.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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