Are you carrying the cure or the disease? 

By @pridematters1

There is a disease out there, like no other!

It doesn’t require doctors to find a cure, but huminaty to implement the cure that they have inside.

It alienates its ‘targets’, changing their lives, destroying their existence and sometimes killing them.

There is a cure.

The government’s who have recognised the disease have had great affect on their countries. Not erridicating it yet but ensureing that the targets of the disease live better lives, the carriers are treated and the people who carry the antidote have the chance to spread it without prejudice.

In the uk they have fought against the disease for many years. Through soap operas, TV dramas, activists, government laws and many other methods.

Above: Eastenders was one of many TV programmes that set itself out to educate. 

UK TV: Soaps such as eastenders, Brookeside and Holly oaks were pioneers in educating people using the power of media. 

In this respect the UK is far from disease free, but it is slowly winning its fight.

It’s not the only country that is winning. Canada, France, Spain and many other European nations.

The targets are not victims always, but who the disease is aimed at and are mainly the carriers of the antidote.

The disease has many identities such as homophobia, Transphobia, biphobia, racism and many others including xenophobia and misogyny but it’s true name is hatred.

Mesha Caldwell was found dead on January 4th 2017

In 2016,  27 people who identify has transgender were victims of homicide in the USA. These victims were mainly black transgender females. The 2017 figures are already tragically set to be higher. 

This hatred is aimed towards people who are identify differently than the carriers of this awful disease.

It’s often referred to as bigotry.

Be aware some carriers think they are the cure.

They are not.

How can something be a cure by wiping out a unique part of humanity?

We must embrace our diversity. 

There is a cure! 

It’s out there,  already and it’s working in many countries. It too as many forms, embracement, education, love, facts not archaric opinion and so on.

Treat people the same as you wish to be treated yourself and stand up to anyone who feels it’s their right to demonstrate the hatred they have inside.

Regardless of who they are! 

Above: Mathew Sheppard was murdered because of his sexuality and many countries adopted laws against hate crimes, but without changes in attitudes any law that protects others could easily be in jeopardy if anti lgbt sentiment rises. 

We must back up the targets with changes in laws, legislation but without changes in attitudes and erridating hatred towards anyone who is different makes it possible for the laws to crumble.

Fight for erridating the disease and treat the carriers in order to make them more human again! 

They may be a president with little understanding of what makes a true defence team in their armed forces or they feel its ok to state that nazis are not the only ones in the wrong and not understanding that people will get angry against pure hatred.

Above: Most activists feel that Donald Trump policies are adding to hatred and unrest. 

A former Prime minister with a gay sister who preaches that she is a terrible parent because of her sexuality breeds hatred in his awful words. 

Below: Tony Abbott believes that his sisters children would be better off with heterosexual parents. 

They may be simply your neighbour who is vocal against ‘gay’ marriage and needs to be constantly informed it’s equal marriage for everyone.

Raise your arms and eradicate the disease with your love. Spread the word that love is an equal force. 

If you don’t understand why this needs to be done listen to the vioces of those who have suffered from inequality and you will understand better.

You will understand that all is required is equal laws with no prejudices, with strong values of respect and equality for each and everyone of us.

Ask yourself…..

Are you carrying the cure or the disease?

UK Attitude Adjustment: A Simple message to employers.

By @pridematters1

For many years the UK has been one of the leading countries for equal rights. Although there were laws before 2010, one of the biggest game changes was the Equality act 2010 .
As a nation we are lucky to have such acts. You only have to look at America, where a same sex couple can marry on the Saturday but by Monday be sacked for their sexuality. The Trump administration doesn’t seem to be doing anything to promote equality for anyone different to themselves.

Even if there was a miracle and laws in less diversed accepting countries changed tomorrow then it wouldn’t solve one of the biggest issues regarding to equality, globally… Attitude.

Attitude is still an issue here too!

It is still possible that in the UK lgbtqia people have applied for jobs and secretly not got the position, not because of their qualifications but because of their sexuality or gender.

There is no way you can prove this ethier way.

You only have to look at cases such as the Soho landlord that discriminated against a gay couple who kissed in his pub.

Ask yourself would employers who show discrimination in general towards the LGBTQIA community employ a lgbt person?

By law they should not discriminate in regards of employing, so technically the owners of Ashers bakery in Northern Ireland (the gay cake row) could be in even more hot dough if they don’t employ a lgbtqia person if they applied for a position and are qualified.

Sorry I mean hot water, not dough!

This case continues because a same sex couple has now been refused since the original case. It is thought that the bakery are being backed by homophobic Christian organisations.

Of cause there is the argument that it is an infringement on their beliefs, but what about others beliefs too? The law was designed to protect everyone’s rights. What if people discriminate on the grounds of the owners being Christian. Wouldn’t they take action too?

You only have to look at online remarks to understand that there is still anti lgbt sentiment out there. You have to think how much damage this negative attitude secretly has on people who fall in minority groups and not only secretly at times, look at the hate crimes since brexit towards the LGBTQIA community and you can understand.

I’m not one for public displays of affection, however if anything it’s acceptable for heterosexual couples, should it be acceptable for couples who are in a same sex relationship?

It’s easy to understand why some people are not open with the gender or sexuality at times when prejudices still exist.

It is easy to understand why groups that by definition have no choice but to be open, such as the transgender community can feel isolated.

If you feel you don’t agree in kissing in public at all, next time you go out for a night out count how many times you see straight couples kiss

We seem to turn ourselves off to the common kiss because that’s exactly what it is, showing affection to the one you love.
In a similar situation to the Soho incident, there was another in a supermarket where a manager decided to ask a couple to leave because they kissed in an aisle. The supermarket then experienced protests, which must have not look good on a national chain. This incident is down to the ignorance of a staff member and I am sure that the supermarket wouldn’t be so effected financially as the pub in Soho, which goes to show if you only have five employees and a small turnover its even more important to protect your business from a decision of a staff member.
If an employer is found guilty of discrimination in any way, it could cost them dearly.

Going back to the Soho incident when the landlord heard that there would be a protest outside his establishment, he decided to close for the night, claiming victory although his bigotry cost him lost of sales, and a bad reputation in an area where the LGBT community are a high proportion of the population.
Certain quarters would see what the LGBT community do by protesting is self-centered and are not looking at the bigger picture of what is beneficial for all society. That’s only if you look at it from a gay rightsprospective. If you view it as an infringement on equality then you need to ask yourself….

Would you get away with it if another couple from a different minority group walked into the pub and were asked to leave?


How would he have felt if the brewer told him he was too old to run a public house anymore?

Discrimination is discrimination.

Equal rights effects us all, be it if you are the gay man who was asked to leave the pub, or the young married lady who suspects she didn’t get a job because she may want time off shortly for maternity.
An infringement on ‘lgbtqia’ rights can also affect someone who you wouldn’t expect it to.

Unfortunately none of us can see in the others head and know what’s going on in another persons life at that moment in time. On surface you could have a completely straight male workforce and yet it still can affect others if one of the staff is being homophobic/transphobic/biphobic.
Maybe a member of staff is struggling with their own sexuality or even a family member such as a grandson or daughter so badly that anti lgbt sentiment from someone else could actually be upsetting and effect performance in one way or another. There are also many examples in the public eye that demonstrate the diversity of the LGBT+ family, and many more that we may not be aware of. There are many people out there who struggle with not even having sexuality and not interested in ether sex.

As an employer you need to ask yourself how you can help yourself to understand the affects of someone’s sexuality and what you can do to in order to help your employees in the most subtle ways as you can. Can you mention positive things about LGBT when someone mentions a negative? Can you warn someone for using words that are deemed hateful or even the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ can actually be upsetting to someone young, Gay, and vulnerable. Is there anyway you can make your staff more aware of issues and subtly change their attitudes?

It could be as simple as being clued up on misconceptions such as Transgender and bisexual issues as well as homosexual issues too.

It may be as simple as having a simple equality and diversity training session and featuring all parts of the workforce.

Help people understand because changing attitudes could actually change the lives of your employees, sparking a happier workforce.

It’s a little bit queer! 

By @pridematters1 

Almost every week we hear people complain about the lgbt acronym.
Recently student bodies have suggested that bi should be bi+ to include persons who are not attracted to ethier male or female. On first glance we need to ask if it appears like asexual eraser!  

That’s just one of many arguments in regards to our collective name. 

 A while back there was a hate campaign to have the T removed, naturally it failed with deep criticism from the entire lgbtqia+ community. 

In the late eighties,  early nineties our communities was seen as separate enterties.

The Gay community:

Clearly The Gay community became progressively inadequate to describe all of the groups making their rightful mark on the world. 

The Transexual community:
Recently transgender has been used as an umbrella term to reflect the devisity of the trans community.

Lgbt is not entirely inclusive too.

How many times are we asked…. 
What does Q,A,I mean? 

Queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and of course allies are missing from the most used lgbt acronym but often and rightfully only included when the subject matter is inclusive to them too. 

The sub groups are often buried too. 

Asexual boasts over seventy sub groups. Naturally at first glance it’s impossible to represent each sub group of each part of the acronym. 

However the fact that we have the opportunity to answer what most of these terms  of the LGBTQIA+ acronym are allows ourselves and others to explore the groups that are often brushed to one side, or would be buried under a universal umbrella term for all. 

A good example is the use of the term Queer as a universal term. At first I had reservations, still do. 

I understand and respect the need to reclaim queer and I personally  advocate it being a part of the acronym for individuals to identify with, to empower themselves against the old school homophobes, biphobes and even transphobes throwing queer back into their face, given half the chance. 

However there are still many that do find it offensive, because of the amount of times it was used against our community before another generation reclaimed it.
A generation that opposes it now is a generation that didn’t and may still not have a privileged life, due to convictions that can not be overturned. 

Back when I was younger  I knew a twenty three year old with a nineteen year old boy friend who was convicted because of the Age of consent was twenty one for homosexual acts, yet 16 for heterosexual. He is still an ex convict and hardly feels privileged.

Calling another group within the LGBTQIA+ community privileged is like calling a six foot two man short because you are six foot nine.

Recently Huffpost decided to change their own lgbt vioces of their site to Queer voices, which demonstrates  that the term is slowly drifting into mainstream media usage.
Queer is alot easier to say than lgbt as Jon Snow, the UK based newsreader (not the GOT charater) found out talking to Owen Jones, Mirhia Black and a few others when Soho had a vigil to Orlando. Even Owen struggled with continously saying lgbt. After a few repeats it becomes a tounge twister.

Above: Jon Snow demonstrated how difficult saying LGBT is, he also pointed out “we are all a little queer!” 

So is it time Queer is used to describe the entire family?

Are we ALL ready for it?

Is Queer the best description to describe us all, representing  the diversity of our family? 

Is it fair to use Queer as a group description when so many still find it offensive or its not accurate to describe so many?
When setting up the cards we use a discussion began, I recall it went on for about a week. Our conclusion was to use the LGBTQIA+ representing all of our community.

The plus represents the duplicates and a nod to the sub groups, Pansexual, Demisexual and so on.

However we spotted flaws in this too. Slowly we came to the conclusion that nothing was perfect, we wanted everyone to be included. Queer is hardly a fair term for some,  yet lgbtqia was too complexed. The conclusion was to use our rainbow family when it wasn’t so clinically required.Softening the blow a little.

Just like individuals, groups should have the right to use the words they feel best represents themselves or their work. As Pride matters aims to represent all of the lgbt community, including allies, including asexuals we use the full acronym lgbtqia+. It suits Pride matters because all our members represent each part of the acronym. Obviously there are times when some groups are not represented in the acronym because they are not relevant to the group that haven’t been included. A good example is not including allies or asexuals when talking about sex, another is removing certain letters when stats are being used and dealing with those stats separately. However the more inclusion the better. 

Do we need to drop anything?
Most definitely!
Drop the inward bitch fighting and inward blaming of other parts of the community. 

We need to replace it with… 
A little more respect to individual groups.
A little more understanding of age groups and their reactions to using certain alternatives.

A little thought of geographical differences, what you may find acceptable in your part of the world someone else may find offensive. 

Probably Queer will eventually filter into media even more, used as a universal description, people will embrace it better than my generation ever could. It will probably have a more diverse meaning in time goes. What it leads to is probably less usage of terms and labels too. Perhaps one day our community will become more amalgamated, perhaps one day the use of labels will decline due to better awareness and perhaps one day the fight for equality will be over and we all will just be seen as human.
Interesting articles in regards to this subject.

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 

Bullying : Understanding the long term effects. 

By @pridematters1

A message for all to understand about the effects of bullying!

​From someone who has experienced bullying  first hand, being bullied is an experience that doesn’t go away that quickly. It marks you for years to follow. Some things will stay with the victim forever.
A friend of mine spoke to me at the beginning of February,  about their experience of being bullied and as a young adult who left school in 2009, ran into his bully in a pub over the weekend prior.
The bully went over to him and they began polite conversation. They didn’t apologise at all and used the term ‘water under the bridge’.

It’s a horrible term especially when you’ve spent the last eight years learning how to float.

If you was the bully, not many victims will want anything more than closure. Go over to them and apologise, it will help the healing, trust me.
One of my bullies actually said to me ‘gawd that’s xx years ago, get over it! “…… 

You may be over it but your victims have been through hell!

Don’t say we were kids or things were different back then.

These are pathetic excuses.

You did it! Period. Be more compassionate when you have to face it.
That conversation was when I was in my mid 20s and it didn’t help the healing, I still believed then,that the bullying was my fault.

I never told my parents how severe it was. It’s something I do recommend if you are being bullied. One person can not face abuse alone.
Between 1981 and 1986 I had to face my bullies several times a day. One teacher actually gave me extra home work due to one of my bullies holding me over the stairway at school and all he saw was me messing about, that teacher refused to listen. Another sat and laughed while one of my major bullies invented a nick name I constantly heard a good twenty times a day, from that moment on and for years to come. 

That wasn’t the worst and it didn’t stop at the school gates.
When I broke my leg in 2011, I was on Facebook for a lot another bully message me.

She was compassionate and she had learnt and it all began,  the healing process after two decades had finally started. The pain began to go. The hurt and anger lessened. Trust me on this it really helps to hear how they have learnt from it and moved forward and it helped me to move on.

I refuse to play the victim and now I refuse to feel the guilt I once did. 

Simply face up to the fact that even though you was a child, you hurt someone who probably carried that round for years.

If you did bully someone remember….. 

It’s not about you but them! 

As for my friend, he has a long journey ahead of him but he will get there, talking to him and someone else recently made me see how much I have healed. That’s down to ME no one else.

Is it time that we all faced up to our responsibilities?

I placed the above a while back on my private account, which I received many replies from people who I went to school with. Many of them wish they did more to stand up for me. Others had been bullied themselves too. My experience was unique to me, just like those where to them. I mentioned to one person that I actually believed there was a dictionary of sorts with all the evil nick names I had.

It wasn’t because I was gay, because I was still discovering who I was and it most certainly didn’t effect my sexuality, that is built into you like a default. The name calling followed me around, even the many passive bullies called me these names in the street. I couldn’t get away from it. I never found comfort. Untill the school broke up for summer, then it came and went. 

Years on I am a completely different person, stronger and confident, with a unique understanding others, something I’m proud of. 

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 

Anti lgbt sentiment. 

By @pridematters1 

“I am sorry,  I am not going out with you because you are gay!”

There I said it! 

By now you are calling me homophobic and talking on the phone ordering, the lynch mob……………. 

Only I was using it to make a point! 

Perhaps you felt hurt, perhaps betrayed and maybe you felt as though you have come across one of those homophobes you meet all the time on social media.  

One sent me a lovely DM, to a private account, it read 

There is a special place in hell for you! 

I replied 

How lovely! I hope it has air conditioning! 

I could actually say that every Christian is the same:

A homophobic, hate, mongering, one brain celled animal, but I know that isn’t true. 

As Dustin Lance Black pointed out once “They are few in numbers but deep in pockets” or words to that effect. 

They are simply a collective of individuals who look bigger in numbers due to their vocal cords exercised by their bank accounts, probably due to paying little taxes and not spending it on the homeless or other good causes, but only to the pursuit of condemning and oppressing others that are different than themselves. (in my opinion) 

We shouldn’t judge other individuals because of the actions of individuals or organisations like these. 

We should look at the individual and help them, if possible of course, sometimes it’s best to say goodbye, to the overly aggressive or abusive. 

So let’s go back to my first point. 

This time I’m going to change the words slightly……..

“I am sorry, I am not going out with you because you are bisexual!”

Above: non binary sexuality doesn’t mean you are fifty percent into males and fifty percent into females, far from it. 

There is a small number of gay men who believe it is OK to discriminate against bisexuals in such a way, saying bisexuals are a waste of time or they are cheaters, yet they see it wrong for others to judge them on who they are.

Imagine this! 

I’m sorry you can’t have this hot dog, because you are queer!

How angry would someone be then! 

My message to gay men who feel it’s OK to discriminate on the grounds of non binary sexuality would be…….. 

I hope that bisexuals do call you out and help you understand your ignorance! 

As you are attracted to other men, they are attracted to both sexes*.

Nothing to do with ethics at all, it’s that simple.

Nothing to do with greed, it’s that simple.

Nothing to do with confusion, it’s that simple. 

I equally want bisexual men to understand one simple thing too.

Its only a few of gay men that feel like this!

However we all need to call them out, point them out and make sure people understand that everyone doesn’t have this view.

Dont go to their level, be polite and informative, when you can. I know it’s hard at times, trust me I’ve failed more than once. 

Above: No one will disown you. This is probably a message from a gay man feeling badly hurt from his bisexual boyfriend leaving him. Many gay men will leave there gay boyfriends over time, just like many straight men will leave there girlfriends, it’s life. They have no right to feel every bisexual is to blame. 

Like the good Christians that are often judged on the same standards as the faux ones. 

Together we need to fight the LGBTQIA internal phobic views as a community and not individuals because that won’t happen. 

I understand this issue and others do too, I hope as we help you win this fight you can take warmth in that!

Above: Someone’s sexuality has nothing to do with you. They are being honest they are attracted to both sexes.*

Big hugs! 

*sex = biological male/female

Gender = self identity, can be seen as many genders.Not to blow anyone’s mind but a bisexual can be attracted to two or more genders. 

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 

Don’t isolate yourselves!

By @pridematters1 

My thoughts on the American presidency and the lgbt family.

Above: Trump on the campaign trail, being given a folded flag from a member of the crowd, with the message upside down.

Every single eye and ear was turned towards America, watching every move, listening to every word,  as the new American President made his inauguration speech.

Many in the crowd were supporting America’s new president, some happy with his choice of words on his Christian values and words about ‘Let’s make America Great again’.

Others viewed it has a memorial service to American democracy, looking at the faces of past presidents, both Democrat and Republican you could see why.

Above: One of the most popular presidents for years.  Yet it feels like his hard work for equality is about to be knocked down by lies on unity. 

One thing that struck me was an interview by a British correspondent, with two members of the spectators that clearly supported Trump.

The Brit asked “Do you think that putting America first in the way Trump wishes isolates your country?”

The lady’s face said it all, she hadn’t seen it that way before! 

The lesson here is simple. We have to think how other people view things, especially when you are in a minority, like Trump supporters clearly are.

It’s easy not to see other peoples point of view at times, despite the world screaming at their TV screens and ready to stay clear of American goods, holidays, finance, deals on trade and so on.

Its not a threat, but a fact, would you favour a country that is thinking about itself and not balancing it’s needs with the needs of others? 

Sending a message to the world that ‘we wont buy or hire anything or anyone that isn’t American’, the sentiment is soon returned.

You have to ask yourself is failing to see that niave?

We have to think of other peoples  values and needs, finding ways in order to live in harmony and benefit from each other. It’s so simple to do so.

It seems hard to get the message across at times to those who ‘think’ they are right to reclaim something that belongs to them, yet it belongs to everyone.

It’s harder to understand how you can use words such as unity in your maiden speech, hours later to launch the White House’s website and the first and only items placed on it are about defence and the military, despite two months to prepare this.

This would have played a big part of getting people on board, if it focused on uniting all of Americans, as promised in the inauguration and campaigns over the last few years.

As it stands it’s not unity and in the words of Ms Church, its seems more like tyrancy.

Trump should be trying to gain the support of the majority of Americans that didn’t put the x next to his name. Let’s face it there was more support for Clinton, the Trump supporters were simply distributed better.

Between November and January was the time to sit down and look at how to get others on his side, in order to make this work for everyone.

I can hear people arguing why he should, one simple word……


Our Rainbow family can also learn from the new administration in the Whitehouse and the errors they’ve made already.

We can see that we need to be sure we don’t isolate ourselves too.

Show the world that all we want is Equality for all but also being seen to be true about it.

You can already see this because Lgbtqia organisations have an history that believe this and are visible to show that everyone should have the same rights as themselves, but we need to keep pushing this incredible message, unlike Trumps cabinet whose historic actions speak load against unity.

Perhaps Trump feels such words as unity are overrated and he’s simply taking the p***.

We can also see how we need to unify in the true sense with EVERYONE who believes in equality and not isolate ourselves too. It’s more apparent now than ever, both within America itself and with their LGBTQIA brothers and sisters globally as they will support you, 

after all….

When there is a war on hate, love always wins.

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 

Getting old! (older) 

By @pridematters1 

In the UK, the average life expectancy age is almost eighty years for men, this has increased by six years over the past two decades. As the global population increases and generations get older, society must change and realise that in future, the older populations may need help. That is to say, it has become apparent that the help older generations need may have to come more from private resources as current government resources are feeling the strain already.
Members of the LGBT Community are three times more likely to live alone than our heterosexual counterparts. According to Stonewall UK, approximately forty-one percent of our LGBT Community members that are retired live alone, there is also evidence to suggest it can be lonely out there too.

Gay Retirement homes are becoming more popular in the western world. The First Gay retirement home has opened in the UK a few years back. Many in the LGBT Community fear that the standard retirement homes can sometimes feel  homophobic. It is easy to understand that they may not be aware of the needs of a LGBT Community member; however, gay retirement homes are few and far between at this present time and they are also concentrated in the epicentre of global LGBT Communities.
They can also be expensive; research by Age Concern UK suggests that eleven percent of the retired population live below the poverty line.

It is also feared that a large percentage of the LGBT Community will return back into the closet, unable to go out and socialize as they once did if they were to live in the standard retirement homes or even at home.
So as a LGBT community what can we do about the issues?
Past LGBT Community actions have provided strong networks and support systems for other situations where some members may feel there is no help available. This was evident with the Buddy system, set up in the height of the AIDS epidemic to help others out. Wouldn’t a similar system be ideal in order to help our aging community? Maybe other younger LGBT Community members would be able to visit retirement homes, ensuring that those LGBT Community members living there aren’t losing touch with their roots. This may also help to reassure they are not feeling any homophobia.
How many times have you heard an O.A.P (Old Age Pensioner) reminisce about the past? Would someone enjoying their gay retirement be any different? The only exception may be the strong likelihood  they cannot talk so openly to other residents of a standard retirement home, so a friendly face from the LGBT Community would go a long way.
Many in the LGBT Community have not got immediate family that they may be in contact with, and even though most have been in this situation for years, it is still lonely. They are in positions whereby they may have been forced to because they cannot live self-sustaining lives anymore, and they could feel trapped inside the house. For anyone it would be lonely, but it would be more so for someone who doesn’t feel as though they can talk openly about the love of their life to other people in fear of homophobia, as an example. 
Furthermore, we must think about the transgender community too. Even though attitudes are forever changing even people within the LGBT Community will admit to being trans-unaware.  After doing a recent documentary on Muslim drag Queens and Transgender in the UK Sir Ian Mckellen admitted that he was ashamed of knowing so little about this area of the LGBT Community, he even compared it to the more homo-unaware days of forty years ago. If a prolific gay man is unaware of such subjects how can we expect main stream retirement homes to understand?
Maybe what it would take is someone who already has a certain amount of knowledge of retirement homes and simply ask for volunteers to be police checked, and create it as a business or charity, charging a small fee to the retirement home in order to keep it sustainable. Allowing the retirement home to advertise throughout the LGBT Community within the immediate area, making sure the staff understands the needs of the LGBT Community at the same time, with the possibility of workshops to raise awareness further. Naturally it will also help the fight against homophobia in general.
Additionally, one of the biggest advantages is when facing gay retirement in the future, we wouldn’t be faced with the dilemma of having to leave the area we have lived all our lives in order to move to a safe environment. 
Not only could such a scheme be easy to implement with the technology we have today, by simply rating the LGBT Community visitor, a reliability factor and safety level can easily be achieved. It could then be expanded to people enjoying their gay retirement at home, and may even be used in a similar way for disabled members of the LGBT Community who would love someone with a similar background to call round once a week for a coffee.

There are community schemes already running in certain areas for heterosexual needs in such a way. All is needed to be done is a couple of phone calls and maybe you could offer your time as a volunteer for anyone who is facing gay retirement.
Moreover, we should think about the years that we are still active and need interaction with others.

In the UK there is an organization called The University for The Third Age. It is a charitable organisation that meet up on a regular basis with the aim of socialising and fundraising through splinter groups organising vacations around the UK and abroad. It is affordable for most members, with day trips run throughout the year, allowing others to integrate and socialise with the members of the group.
I recently contacted U3a and they inform me that anyone is welcome but they have no record of what groups would be suited for the LGBT Community because their groups are ran as individual concerns. My concern at the moment is that of anti lgbt attitudes are higher in that over sixties, naturally as we get older this will change. 
There is nothing stopping someone in the LGBT Community organising a meeting place once every month on a similar basis, maybe organising transportation. Some things don’t have to be charitable, but ran for a small profit piggy-backing on a main business. Potentially, they could use a back room of a local gay bar at early doors that would otherwise be empty at that time. By using technology it wouldn’t take too much trouble to set up a nationwide LGBT Community version of The University for The Third Age.
These are only two examples of ways we could help as a LGBT Community, but we need to ask ourselves what we can do? 

What is suitable for one person may not feel right for another. 
The main issue is that as a community we often don’t think about the future, maybe it’s about time we did? We all understand the struggles we have had in our own lifetimes towards homophobia, imagine what it was like for our older generation, who would have been in their twenties when homosexuality became  legal in the UK. At this time Homosexual men where treated no more than criminals by certain elements of society.

Even when the law was changed back in 1967 there were parts of the original law that hindered the fight for equality and didn’t allow our sexuality to show at that time. Between the late sixties and the late nineties it was technically to hold hands in public. The first gay pride march in London 1972  raised this issue. Knowing this it is understandable why some heterosexual old age pensioners, even if you can not agree with their attitudes. Its most certainly inherited unfortunately.
Is it time we took action and do something in order to help these heroes that have paved the way for ourselves, so that when we get to the stage where we need to still socialize and be a part of the LGBT Community there is something there for us already.

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 

My thoughts as an ally on Transgender awareness.

Each year on November 20th Transgender Remembrance day is marked for those who have fallen for simply being transgender. It’s hard to imagine receiving that knock on the door to discover your own son, daughter, brother, or sister have been murdered for being themselves or took their own lives, simply for being visible. 

A friend of mine,  neighbour discovered their transgender daughter hanging in their shed, due to bullying. They didn’t fail their child, the bullies failed their own humanity. Their child wasn’t weak but weakened by others constant bullying tactics. Some will disagree with me but it’s nothing short of murder by proxy. 

Aydian Dowling : The first Transgender male to appear on Gay Times magazine.

Imagine if they supported the other football team and got caught up in the other supporters and punished for being in the wrong shirt, let alone the wrong body, as transgender people feel they are.

No one can justify murder, bullying or intolerance of another human being

It’s simply evil and is equally as wrong to turn a blind eye, yet hundreds, maybe thousands do. 

Of cause there have been many gay men, women and bisexual men slaughtered in simular ways but not as many as in the transgender communities, when it comes to their percentages. 

I’m not saying that any life is any less important, It’s not,  we are all simply nature’s beautiful creation. However when one groups peecentages are higher on the ‘charts’ than others and nothing seems to be done about it, then something needs to be done about it.

Being a part of a minority, that most of us are in,  one way or another, we need to empathise with other minority groups and ultimately support them in any way we can.

I have heard people say distastefully that transgender people deserve it or they are not helping themselves.

Does anyone deserve to be treated different, simply because they are different to yourself? 

Others will say, again distastefully they are perverts and deserve it.

It’s funny how people can judge others so quickly for being themselves when they fit easily in the more common part of soiecity. 

A few will point out the bible says xyz.

Often my reply to the constant attack that gender, or for that matter sexuality is sinful is… 

That’s your belief system, not theirs and there is no reason why in a world of seven billion people we can’t all enjoy each others diversity and learn to love each other more.

Others  will point out stats or figures that the lgbt community are xyz.

We are not talking about stats. We are talking about people’s lives here!

You have the right to believe what you wish and frankly many will criticise your choices no matter, but you’re  better than them and you need to show that by accepting and understanding others better too. 

Suicides in the LGBTQIA community are higher than any other group, even higher in bisexuals and tragically doubles in transgender comuinity.

I’ve  been doing Pride matters for a few years.  I set it up to raise awareness of all of the LGBTQIA community without prejudice, to help people within the comuinity learn about each other and people beyond our community.

India Willoughby returned to the Tyne Tees regional programmes as the first transgender female newsreader in the UK in Autumn the 2016. Quickly Joining the ITV show Lose women, in mid November 2016.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt is not to be seen as a voice for any group. Its unfair to be another groups voice but to be a platform for them to shine. It’s why I set up the think tank, to discuss all lgbtqia comuinity issues and come up with awareness ideas,amomg other ideas. I’m always looking for new voices by the way, just contact me. 
I have learnt is that all the transgender community need is people to stand at the side, giving support or behind them, giving them back up. After all they are doing pretty well themselves, the pictures I’ve added shows how successful they are doing but that extra support, never harms anyone. 

Listen and learn about their needs, help them fight for equality and a better understanding and that is something we all can do.

Riley Carter Millington, is the first transgender actor to play a transgender character in a UK soap.

If we can not tolerate others, how can we be expected to be tolerated?

Oh yea another thing now and then to acknowledge their acceptance in your heart…….. 

Show them acceptance with….. 

A big fat lingering hug! 

I need a hero

I often hear people talk when a celebrity comes out of the closet, saying phrases like “does it actually matter if they are gay or not”, a lot of young ‘straight’ girls’ still respect them for the hunks they are, then others may say things like “Why do they feel the need to come out so much in public”, and when a certain youngster dived in with a famous ‘you tube’ coming out video, which hit the headlines worldwide a few years back, someone I know made comments of him doing it because he had a book and a TV show to promote, smirking back in my sarcastic way I made the comment  “Yes, you come out of the closet to make a quick buck”, missing the point of cause, not realising how hard it is to actually admit that you’re gay or in his case as he felt at the time, bisexual, because we live in a society that has stigmatised certain sexualities over the millenniums, yet the same society makes us feel guilty inside for not being honest with the people we love, clear to me these people aren’t actually homophobic as such but more  ‘homo-unaware’, please don’t look up that word as I just made it up, but it sums up what a lot of people are like regarding certain gay issues, not knowing what it is truly like to sit on a bed and talk about your personal life, with conviction as he did putting it on the internet and then back then it effected a lot of people worldwide, naturally he got the backdraft from the true homophobes, calling him and his boyfriend all the unforgivable names you could think of, cowardly sat behind their pc’s and him knowing that would happen, it was a very brave act for any #lgbt person in the public domain to do.

However I had to eventually point out to a ‘friend’ what my true feelings where at the time, making them a little more homo-aware, and my feelings haven’t altered since when a celebrity does come out, although I do increasingly feel we need to approach coming out in a more ‘relaxed’ manner and create the correct feeling that it is as natural as any heterosexual couple getting together when a gay celebrity couple do. 

I felt it was great news for the celebrity as it gives positive gay role models for young gay lads out there who till now only have a certain stereotype, the more that come out and talk about it, the more its accepted and the more it will deter homophobia, as there are very few role models in such areas like sport even the slightest of celebrities that actually stand up and be counted in such circles gives the young lads who are struggling coming to terms with their sexuality and are sport motivated, no doubt in the changing rooms at the time when somebody sharing their honesty with the world there will be vile homophobic comments but equally there will be someone there who will recognise and reason with the people that are in earshot pointing out what they have done by coming out is something to be proud off , hitting the ears of their teammates, not being prejudice of who hears their viewpoint and giving the young sportsman getting changed in the corner and is realising that he isn’t ‘heterosexual’, at the very least and maybe with a little hope attached it will help him along his way to understand that its not so bad after all, and lets not forget the young homophobic sportsman, giving him something to think about too, maybe one day he will realise there is no way that he could understand what someone who is gay feels when dejected by someone’s words of passive abuse, well again, we can live in hope.

There is also a train of thought, that I follow which says we should look at the ballance of coming out and not, claiming it for ourselves, losing the element of oppresiveness that surrounds it. 

In one way there is a shame in the need to come out and not just except people for who they are, but till the day when labels and homophobia  seize to exist people will still feel the need to talk about such matters in some way or another and by stepping forward and admitting that you are gay when in the public eye, would help this cause, because we all don’t relate to the same type of person. 

Remembering back when I was a teen, even though the gay guys in the public eye at that point,have done their bit, showing the world ‘its ok to be gay’ but none of them I could really relate to and I suspect that the teens of today will find the same, not because stars aren’t coming out more and more, as slowly they are, and much to the annoyance of certain quarters of America, even Hollywood is changing slowly with some openly gay actors playing ‘real’ heterosexual men and talking openly about their family, suggesting to the teen that their are possibilities of child adoption or surrogacy, if they so wish with a loving partner or even as a lone parent in some cases. All the time we have great stars emerging and making a stand for sexual freedom and its fabulous, however lets not forget something we have discovered on our way to discovering ourselves, we are all different and more role models are required to reflect our #lgbt flag and to give people who are struggling with that closet door and need someone to relate too, and to prove that they are normal, a relateable role model for themselves and the homophobe stood behind them not forgetting the homo-unaware stood at the side.

Even to help the occasional homophobe to see that maybe they might be wrong the more #lgbtqia role models there is when one of us messes up as every human does from time to time, the percentages are in our favour that it doesn’t look like a ‘typical gay thing to do’ and we are all as human as each other.        

We seem to always concentrate on the gay and lesbian role models  and forget about the others that fall under the #lgbt flag, its never a bad thing when transgender and transsexual role models come into the public eye and explain their feeling to make us all more ‘trans-aware’ than what we are already.

Naturally we must respect the stars that don’t wish to come out of the closet, after all its hard to in normal circumstances but to do this with the pressure surrounding them from all angles, and not forgetting the politics of their profession which the likes of you and I have not experienced so we cant honestly comment on the pressure but only can imagine. It does make me feel awkward as a gay man when another gay man decides its ok to sell imagery of their ex lover to a website in order to make a quick buck.

These are just a few of my personal thoughts on why we need more role models of all types that come under the flag of #lgbtqia not only to give ourselves positive role models but for all the world to see and be proud of that flag we fly as a united family. 

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