With Pride 2020 events cancelled and thousands of people currently marching in support of Black trans people, we at CALM believe it’s important to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community more than ever. There are many reports that prove LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately affected by mental health issues, particularly in lockdown, and it’s not ok. At CALM, we believe everyone deserves the support they need no matter their sexual orientation or identity. Our ambassadors and supporters shared what they believe being an ally means.
Compassion is key
A Stonewall report in 2018 found that half of LGBT people (52%) experienced depression in the last year. Singer, rapper and CALM ambassador RKZ believes that showing solidarity, compassion, allyship is essential.
“Depression has a horrible way of making you feel isolated and lonely. To feel this way because you love someone who happens to be the same gender, to feel this way because you’re trying to be your true self, is beyond comprehension. No one should be punished, profiled or prejudiced against for being themselves.”
Remembering loved ones
“This Pride, I’ll be thinking about my wonderful gay brother and all the other people who have faced hostility and prejudice, and who weren’t able to manage in a world that is still so intolerant. I stand with the LGBTQ+ community who are disproportionately affected by mental health issues and are more likely to consider taking their own lives.”
Allyship is not just an individual responsibility, but a collective one. CALM has partnered with LNER since 2018 and they were keen to share their support for their staff and customers. The organisation is passionate about creating an inclusive and safe environment for its community.
“We are passionate about creating a workforce that is representative of the diverse communities we serve and are working with our Inclusion Network to develop a programme of initiatives to create an inclusive culture where our people feel able to be themselves at work. We’re always proud to support Pride event across our route in partnership with CALM, to help spread a message of celebration and support.
While the rights and respect for the community have come a long way, unfortunately, there are still many unhelpful attitudes held by professionals meaning that LGBTQ+ people are often unable to seek the services they need and deserve. One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff. Of those who do seek support, one in eight (13 per cent) have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they’re LGBT.
Singer, producer, poet and CALM ambassador, Arlo Parks, who will probably have a quiet night in reading Audre Lorde and drinking turmeric tea during Pride this year, believes it’s important to actively support the LGBTQ+ community: “Being able to love openly should never be fraught with danger and shame”
“Pride is a moment of togetherness and gratitude and solidarity. Pride means celebrating the fluidity of sexuality and being thankful for the sacrifices made by so many for the sake of LGBTQ+ rights. I think the community will find creative ways of making Pride 2020 special.”
Spreading some joy
And if you’re looking for some entertainment indoors, you can check out comedian and CALM ambassador Suzi Ruffell’s podcast – ‘Out with Suzi Ruffell’ – which celebrates people from the LGBTQ+ community and spreads joy, a lot like her comedy does.
“I wanted to get a diverse selection of queer people that are inspiring and hopeful in their own ways. I like to share, more than anything, a sort of hopefulness and joy, and try to bring the ‘funny’ into the sometimes miserable. That’s what I wanted to do with the podcast.”
So, while you can’t show up physically this year, there are loads of ways to be an ally and celebrate Pride. Here at CALM, we’re proud to support the LGBTQ+ community and are here for you, no matter what.
Need support? Worried about someone? CALM’s helpline and webchat are open daily 5pm-midnight. Get access here.
Have you been affected by suicide? The Support After Suicide Partnership is a hub for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide, where you can find emotional and practical support.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don’t share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.