Pride is about much more than a party, it's about the usualisation of sexual, gender, and relationally diverse minorities. We can also give thought around using the terminology of ‘normalisation’, maybe communicating that ‘normal’ doesn't exist and variation of human expression is valid.
As an LGBTQIA+ hypno-psychotherapist, I've found there is evidence of a mental health disparity in the LGBTQIA+ populations with an increased risk of experiencing poor mental health.
Despite the upwards curve towards acceptance in society, the concealment, discrimination and isolation still exist, the community can then begin to internalise these feelings, which enter a cycle of re-enforcement by external messages.
According to Stonewall (2018):
All this while we continue to have no law against so-called ‘reparative/conversion therapy’ and equal marriage rights only started in 2014.
Teachers were even forbidden to teach anything other than heterosexuality in schools due to section 28 legislation between 1988 and 2003 in the UK.
Pride is for all, from pups to parents, from young to mature. Pride as a culture can be utilised to facilitate the integration of fostering inclusion, validity, belonging, and friendship.
Pride is an opportunity to break cycles of stereotyping within and outside of the acronym, to recognise and honour those who came before and inspire those who come after, installing confidence in the ability to be authentic.
The rainbow flag which we are seeing everywhere at the moment means more than rows of pretty colours. Designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, every strip had a meaning which is extremely similar to our aims as therapists. There have been different versions of this flag and one of the latest is this shown above.
On the 29th June in 1969, an uprising took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, due to frustration of being continually targeted by authorities. Lesbians and trans women of colour were some of the key people involved in the act of resistance, including Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.
In the UK, Pride has been organised in many places since the first official UK Gay Pride Rally in London in 1972, which drew approximately 2,000 participants. In any year other than this, there would be 100’s of prides taking place around the globe with many being added all the time.
I’m extremely proud to be the 1st person of colour to be the Chair of Oxford Pride and we produce a festival and parade day in May. To find out about the online events we are running this year you can go to www.oxfordpride.uk. We also run an informal drop-in peer support evening every month in Oxford which is currently online.
Zayna Ratty is a LGBTQIA+ Hypno-Psychotherapist, ACT practitioner and trainer based at The Practice Rooms in Oxford and online.
Her charity, diversity consulting work and private therapeutic practice explore how race, gender, sexuality and relationship diversity create a prism of intersecting identities.
Stonewall.org.uk. 2018. LGBT In Britain. [online] Available at: <https://www.stonewall.org.uk/system/files/lgbt_in_britain_health.pdf> [Accessed 17 May 2020].
Lgbthealth.org.uk. 2018. [online] Available at: <https://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/LGBTI-Populations-and-Mental-Health-Inequality-May-2018.pdf> [Accessed 17 May 2020].
Bitc.org.uk. 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.bitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/bitc-wellbeing-report-workingwithpride-feb2019.pdf> [Accessed 17 May 2020].
Lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/1384014531S28Background.pdf> [Accessed 17 May 2020].