Why do we celebrate Pride at South London and Maudsley? | Our blog

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The Maudsley Blog

Why do we celebrate Pride at South London and Maudsley?

Will Tamblyn, Honorary Assistant Psychologist at our Psychosexual Service, talks about why our Trust celebrates LGBT+ Pride Month:

“As you may have seen if you visited the Maudsley campus in June, the rainbow flag was once again flying on the Maudsley flag pole to celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month throughout the month of June; an annual celebration and demonstration of the right to love whoever you want, and the right to be seen and accepted as the person you truly are. We should all be proud to be part of the SLaM family, but for me, being part of the LGBT+ Network at the Maudsley is particularly important as this is a building and an institution which once saw the practise of homosexual aversion therapy and hospitalised men and women with ’sexual deviation’ as their primary diagnosis into the 1970s.

“To be able to work here now being proud of who I am as an openly gay man shows just how far we’ve come as a hospital, as a society, and as a nation. To know that you are safe and valued and loved, to directly reclaim a space in this way—a space that has hurt so many people like you in the past and to know that that hurt has stopped here because you and people like you refused to be unacknowledged, refused to be silenced—is the greatest achievement you can possess as a person of minority status.

“But Pride is not just a celebration of who you are, it’s a celebration of how far you’ve come, and of the lives of those people who fought for your freedom today, and the raising of the pride flag is an acknowledgment of that fight. But that fight is far from over. Especially at this time when we are starting to emerge into social bubbles, it’s important to remember that the fight for LGBT+ rights is not just to be won against your family or your neighbours or whoever is directly around you, and to keep your eyes on world affairs.

“Just because we’ve raised the rainbow flag above the Maudsley and we can walk around freely in rainbow lanyards doesn’t mean that LGBT+ people around us aren’t still afraid to be who they are, aren’t still being legally persecuted overseas and in some cases, legally murdered. Just because we demonstrate for the Black Lives Matter movement, doesn’t mean that police brutality and systemic racism have somehow ceased across the globe.

“These are still global fights against world leaders, against racism, against misogyny, against ableism, against transphobia, and these fights are motivated and united by injustice and inequality, and are underpinned by a shared sense of Pride.

“And having that Pride is about lending your voice and making noise to the tune of LGBT+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, to your Trans brothers and sisters, by refusing to stay silent until everyone around you can share in your Pride with you. But sometimes those people are out of hands-reach, not living down the road or meeting you at work, or for drinks and dinners, but trapped in a different country and this is why Pride celebrations are so loud and so colourful; because we have to make our voices heard across oceans and across continents.”

This is an extract from a speech given by Will for a Trust-wide broadcast in June 2020.

Trust joins Stonewall’s Diversity Champion programme

We are delighted to announce that we are now members of Stonewall’s Diversity Champion programme. Stonewall is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights charity in Europe. Stonewall’s Diversity Champion programme recognises employers in the UK and beyond which choose to make a positive commitment to ending discrimination in the workplace and improving the lives of LGBT+ people both at work and in the wider community.

It’s really important that all staff in our Trust are fully aware of the needs of our LGBT+ service users, so that we can offer them the best possible care. Being part of the Diversity Champion programme is a hugely positive step which is going to move our Trust forward in achieving this.

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