June is Pride month – a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world.
So why is Pride so important for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Scouts?
Pride is celebrated in the month of June, as this was the month when the Stonewall riots took place. These riots were important protests that took place in 1969 in the USA, that changed gay rights.
It is now a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship, to show how far LGBTQ+ rights have come. It is about acceptance, equality, education and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
It also calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be today, and also how in some places there is still work to be done. There are still countries in the world where the death penalty is punishment for being gay.
Pride is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
Scouts welcome everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexuality. FLAGS is a National Scout Active Support Unit that actively supports the recruitment, retention, and ongoing support of LGBTQ+ adults in Scouts.
Attending Pride events is a way of demonstrating to our communities that we're committed to building a more inclusive society and openly welcoming LGBT+ members. FLAGS has been attending Pride events for some years now.
To see where the Scouts are already committed to parading this year, see the page on the Scout website 'Scout Pride'.
There are now lots of Pride parades across the country and several taking place in Hampshire:
Plus there are plenty of large events taking place within an easy journey from Hampshire:
For more information on supporting Scouts that are part of the LGBT+ community see these pages on the Scout website. There is some guidance to attending pride, and how you can let HQ know on the Pride page too.
Our thanks go to Kevin Harmer of New Forest District for inspiring this article.