I was asked recently why do I support Pride?
I was surprised by the question, but it reminded me of when CAMHS were first asked to attend the first Chester Pride in Chester town hall.
I really want to help share some of the experiences I have had from the young people I have been helping. I noted their struggle, I noted the risk they were taking and I realised the trust they were putting in me. I saw the fight in their eyes in telling or asking or not? And therefore, I wanted to give the young people we work with the opportunity to discuss their thoughts, their feelings about their own gender and /or their own sexuality.
I remain passionate about helping and supporting the young people we work with to discuss and to have the right environment to discuss safely their individual thoughts around their own gender and sexuality.
I've attended all the Chester Prides and I have gained so much from the experience. I choose to attend, and I choose to stand side by side with my friends and colleagues as well as with our young people to celebrate their right to their own choice in terms of their identity. It is not about being ashamed, it is not about feeling belittled it is together shouting from the roof tops “This is me”.
I find Pride such a superb event it is so well organised, and it runs so smoothly. I find that supporting the CAMHS stall and talking about mental health with the young people and their families such an eye opening experience as the young people can talk freely about their experiences whilst at the Pride event; it must be the collective support that Pride gives.
We are proud to be a small part of Pride
I really support Chester Pride in principle because of what Pride is there to represent, as a celebration of all the LGBT community and to commemorate the stonewall riots, but I also support Pride as it encourages and motivates, as well as celebrates, staff, young people’s and adult’s awareness of the LGBT views
I look forward to this year's Chester Pride and hopefully to the many Chester Prides to come
But I know that motivation and increased awareness is an ongoing theme.
I’m not sure I’ve answered the question.. While I’ve been reviewing this I think back to a young person I met in therapy 7 years ago. They were discussing with me how they were really struggling talking to their parents; they couldn’t talk to their teachers. They just could not talk as they said that they didn’t want others to judge them or pick on them. When I stand with my colleagues at Chester Pride, I see an occasion where the young people smile, laugh, dance and appear totally at ease celebrating “themselves”.
Thank you Chester Pride for this opportunity for young people to join in “love is love” and “This is me”.