Celebrated each June, Pride Month is about celebrating love, acceptance, education, and awareness, while acknowledging equality for the LGBTQ community.
What’s magical is that this celebration is for everyone: no matter who or how we love, or how we identify, Pride is about diversity – and it’s wonderful to see such integral involvement by our emergency services.
From wrapping fire engines, ambulances and police cars with the bright Pride tones, to multi-coloured shoe-laces and fun and funky epaulettes. Moreover, forces, trusts and brigades across the country have dedicated LGBTQ networks and community groups, and personnel at every level are encouraged to take an active role in their activities to support colleagues and the public.
Let’s take a look at some of the shining examples from 2017 and what we’re expecting this year from our friends in the services.
Bristol Pride 2017
When police officers and paramedics danced together at Bristol Pride, the public were overwhelmed with joy – as can be seen in the press and across social media. Described as a ‘blue-light boogie’, local emergency responders pledged their support behind the event by taking part in a dance-off to the music from one of the parade’s biggest floats.
Pride in London 2017
Last year, the Pride in London Parade was officially launched by members of the emergency services in honour of their commitment and bravery during the most tragic events of 2017, each nominated from across London's Fire and Rescue service, the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance.
Among those selected was Jules Lockett, Head of Control Services Training for London Ambulance Service (LAS) who supported the control room staff and attended in a support role at Grenfell. Jules was also recognised at the inaugural APD Control Room Awards for the incredible support she continues to deliver across LAS for every employee.
London Pride saw over 1 million people attend, making it the city’s largest single day outdoor event, rounding off what was believed to be the world’s largest Pride Festival to date. Well done to all involved – what an incredible achievement.
York Pride 2018
This month, North Yorkshire Police had a fantastic time at York parade, which took place on Saturday 9 June. Multiple emergency services got behind the event, including a fire engine and ambulance decorated in the vibrant and symbol rainbow colours – the fire appliance was at the forefront of the celebrations by leading the parade through the city’s streets.
LGBTI Police Conference 2018
Finally, the Scottish LGBTI Police Association is hosting the 2018 National LGBTI Police Conference, taking place 22 - 24 June at Tulliallan, Fife. Two hundred delegates from across the UK and Ireland will enjoy a 2 day celebration including 16 workshops, a Gala Dinner and awards event.
To find out more about the conference, click here.
Shining the light on Pride with social media…
We can see exactly why the emergency services have been praised for engaging so actively with the public to promote equality and diversity during Pride celebrations.
But as well as participating and supporting parades and events with their presence and passion, these organisations are also making use of their digital toolkit to make a stamp.
Almost all – if not every – emergency service across the UK has spread their love of Pride using their social media networks, engaging with the public and creating a positive online conversation about diversity – and we think it’s fantastic.
Happy Pride Month 2018!