With recent circumstances, we are so happy to see that Pride Blackpool will still be going ahead with the celebrations in an online forum. Pride for so many is the commemoration of the historical changes and advancements in policy, legislation, and societal attitudes. It is a protest, an act of political activism and most importantly a celebration of the 50+ years of hard work that has gone into changing the legislation in the UK to become more inclusive.
We are saddened that we are unable to celebrate this in person with you all, however, we would like to take this time to remember the activism that was shown by the Union and friends in February 2020 for LGBT+ History Month. We invited key partners and friends to B&FC to attend our LGBT+ History awareness stalls to celebrate the hard work they do for LGBT+ in the community, and to meet our students. This is what they had to say when we asked how important it is for educational institutions to do these awareness-raising activities;
Horizon - Sarah and Michael
Michael - "Focussing on younger people will make a difference for the rest of their lives. As an older gay man, I remember what it was like growing up with the stigma and speaking in meetings about what help we needed to raise awareness. The younger generation has not always got a voice, and we can help them find their voice, or even be that voice for them. It also helps to decrease the stigma in other ethnic minority groups who may not be allowed to be themselves in their culture. We help them to understand that they can be out and proud. No one will know it’s okay to be who they are if we don't tell them."
Sarah –“It is vital to bring it here, to make it normal for everyone. Educating people on LGBT+ campaigns is important and has been around for many years. The fact that same-sex marriage has only just been legalised in Northern Ireland shows just how important it is to still be campaigning, it makes people aware of not taking your rights for granted.”
UR Potential – Jade Holloway
Jade – “Spreading awareness in educational institutions is very important. It gives students opportunities to approach and find out more information from all these different services that they might not even know were available. We always receive positive feedback when we come to B&FC, and students and staff are always so lovely and willing to listen to us.”
Leftcoast, Art BnB and part of New Queers On The Block, - Mykey and Garth
Mykey – “It's really important to bring events like this to an educational setting and create these safe spaces. I grew up under section 28 so there was no education for my identity. Even as an adult you might not want to go to a sexual health clinic and having people come to you decreases the stigma and makes it easier to use the services.”
Garth – “Positive awareness-raising events are essential in removing the idea that this is a secret conversation. It is important to remember that LGBT+ history month is not a queer Christmas. We need to be mindful of what happens throughout the year and keep up the awareness.”