Today marks the start of LGBTQ+ Pride month and as a Trust we are supporting the celebrations taking place. Professor Matt Phillips, Associate Medical Director raised the flag outside the Cumberland Infirmary this morning, and it will also be flying at Hilltop Heights, Carlisle.
June is the month chosen to celebrate pride as it was the month of the Stonewall riots, the protests that changed gay rights for a lot of people in America and beyond. Pride is usually celebrated with lots of parades and marches but with some coronavirus restrictions still in place, things will be a little different for now.
Celebrations will continue virtually, keeping people connected and will focus on people coming together in love and friendship, to show how far gay rights have come, even if in some places there's still some work to be done.
Pride month is about raising awarenss of tolerance, education in pride history and continuing to move forward in equality. It calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be and its about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
There are usually colourful parades, concerts and marches, but this year a lot of this will be moved online because of Covid restrictions. The Trust plans to attend Cumbria Pride will take place in Carlisle on September 25.
On June 11 we will be sharing photos of our staff dressed in rainbow colours as we show our support for LGBTQ+ Pride month and are encouraging staff to join our LGBT staff network.
Earlier this year, at NCIC, we celebrated LGBT History Month.3
Held every February since 2005, LGBTQ+ History Month aims to raise awareness of - and combat prejudice against - the LGBTQ+ community and highlight its achievements and diversity. The theme of this year’s event is ‘body, mind, spirit’.
Professor Matt Phillips, associate medical director and sexual health doctor at NCIC, spoke at a live MS Teams event about the interwoven story of AIDS/HIV and LGBT history.
He said: “Attitudes have changed. There is a lot more awareness now though but a lot of work still needs to be done.
“Some people are still afraid of talking to their employers about LGBTQ+ issues and sexual health. People still talk about coming out and that feeling that they must come out.”
You can watch the live Teams event again by clicking here https://youtu.be/BC2bMRpjO0