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Be Proud Everyday not just for Christmas

Coach Ian  Richards-Thomas (He/Him) by Ian Richards-Thomas (He/Him)
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Every year the LGBTQ+ community comes together in celebration and commemoration of Pride month which is held in June and marks the point in history when the Stonewall riots took place in Greenwich Village, New York, between June 28 – July 3 1969. This was an event that changed gay rights for a lot of people in and around the world.  However Pride is more than one month of the year!

The message of Pride, of being proud of one’s sexuality may not come through as being felt by LGBTQ+ young people in the support that they receive from social services, personal services and foster agencies and their foster carers. It is vital that young LGBTQ+ individuals feel acceptance, encouragement, and support from Children Always First and its foster carers who are able to demonstrate and practice the principles of equality that PRIDE calls for.

 We can remind ourselves of the values that are integral in the message of Pride by reflecting on the following :-

P romote equality and diversity through celebration and activism towards change. 

R espond to the needs of a young LGBTQ+ individual in relation to their sexual or gender identity and expression.

I nspire yourself and other connected professionals to celebrate and commit to the inclusivity and equality of young LGBTQ+ individuals. 

D etermine to continually pursuit positive experiences for the young LGBTQ+ individual.  

E mpower the individual to live authentically through supporting them and by demonstrating courage and bravery in accepting oneself fully.  

 By developing this practice, ourselves, we can express our commitment to supporting our young people, as well as challenging homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. As a fruend, family, and community leader you are often the first point of contact for a young person to express their identity and sexuality authentically. 

Significant change and improvement to the young LGBTQ+ lives in our care and beyond must be established by us as an active collective and collaborative community.  

“Calling out” or challenging discrimination is not an easy thing to do. It takes bravery, courage, and vulnerability to do so consistently.  Schools, social workers, foster agencies, medical professionals and even our family can make it feel very hard to speak up.  

As a professional I always try to remember that we are here to support the child as a complete and unique individual and not just to focus on the aspects of that child that we wish to see, but to allow for the complete expression of their entire personality. One of the reasons why my husband and I chose the Children Always First agency all those years ago was that they value diversity. In addition to training that I have delivered on behalf of the agency I want to do my part to deliver a consistent message about equality in this area and how we can deliver a positive and enriching experience for the LGBTQ+ children in our care.  


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