Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Why celebrating Pride is important

Gracie, 15, is a South East member of the NSPCC’s Young People’s Board For Change and talks about why celebrating Pride is important.

Why do we need Pride? I’ve never been to Pride – I don’t think a whole load of young queer people have. But, I have felt the feeling of pride and I think the two are appropriately similar.

Pride is the kind of joy that pulses in your chest and refuses to leave behind anything less than a big, fat smile on your face. It’s freeing. It’s your child’s first steps, acing that big exam, or getting that round of applause you’ve worked so hard for.

It’s getting up in the morning and realising you’re still here on this planet. That’s pretty great. Be proud of that.

Every queer person has a story

Now, every queer person’s story is different but more fundamentally, every queer person has a story. When you’re born into a world where you defy the grand assumption society makes, it was never going to be easy. Whether it’s emotional; mental; social; religious; familial; legal.

Queer people fight battles – young and old, from every walk of life. Queer people have fought – just think about Marsha P Johnson and every other queer person who has come before me.

Queer people are fighting (half of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced depression in the last year – that’s a devastating number of people and a really tough battle). And queer people will continue to fight because there is most certainly work to be done!

Why we need Pride

Well when you lose a battle, Pride – the place, the community – is a safe space or a safety net. It’s somewhere to remind yourself that you still deserve to feel that joy that pulses in your chest, pride. And when you win a battle, well, there’s no better place to celebrate!

I think Pride month (which takes place in June) is an invitation to feel pride the feeling… which every queer person deserves to feel.

Celebrating Pride is positive and empowering. It gives you the chance to show your true colours. But not everyone feels able to celebrate Pride. For those who really want to get involved but don’t feel able to for whatever reason; remember that the NSPCC’s Childline service is there to support you.

You are not alone. You can speak to trained counsellors in confidence by calling 0800 1111. Or visit the message boards at www.childine.org to read advice from other young people experiencing the exact same thing as you.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.
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