Michaela is a community supporter at the Trust and is also the lead for the successful transgender and non-binary local support group TransBarnsley. To celebrate June’s Pride month, Michaela reflected on all the group has achieved so far and its ambitions for the future.
It’s June again, which for me means it’s Pride month and Pride season. I say season because there are around 120 Pride events in the UK, believe it or not. I am reflecting on last year’s Prides and in particular our launch of TransBarnsley at Pride Barnsley 2022.
It strikes me just how much success this group has had in such a short space of time. At the time of writing this blog, we are three weeks from our first birthday. Yet, in that time we have formed so many alliances, achieved so many things and seen so much progress with individuals. Here are some examples of what we are achieving:
- TransBarnsley and the local Recovery College have been appointed as a third party reporting centre for hate crime.
- Some of our group members now strong enough to come out to their parents and to their colleagues at work.
- One member has trained to become an official volunteer for the Trust.
- We’ve led on talks and discussions on everything from sexual health to local LGBTQ history with a range of local partners.
- Involvement with Trust LGBT+ issues – we helped to develop the Trust’s transgender Ppolicy.
- We’ve developed and co-produced workshops and a presentation, keeping people informed about important trans/non-binary issues.
It’s hard to believe that some said the group wouldn’t work. Well, not only did it work but it’s worked so well that at this year’s Pride Barnsley we will be officially launching our parents and partners group which is already thriving. Both groups have regular attendees and there are 30 members within the Trans Barnsley group. I’m so proud of all we are achieving together.
Of course, none of this is possible without the support of the wonderful people that I work with. These are the same wonderful team of people that have supported the development of an LGBT+ awareness workshop which we hope to deliver into teams within our Trust as well as the general public. I can’t stress how imperative it is to have great support from both colleagues and management when working on these ideas and projects and this is gratefully accepted.
I have also been involved, and continue to get more and more involved, in our LGBT+ network alongside amazing people who work very hard to keep our network going and growing. It’s worth pointing out at this point that you don’t need to be LGBT+ to join the network. You can be an ally and still get a rather nice rainbow lanyard to show your support.
So what’s next in the grand scheme of things you may ask? Well, there are many exciting projects and developments in the pipeline. In fact, just this morning I was reading the new LGBTQ+ Leaders Network Report for 2023 (NHS Confederation) which ties in nicely with many ideas and projects that, with luck, will hopefully cross over.
For now, I’m grateful of the Trust’s acceptance and support. I guess it’s onwards and upwards, trying to make the world a more accepting place by education, explanation and reason.
Have a wonderful Pride month and season and if you see me around, pop over and say hello.