A photograph of a billboard that reads "We like you, proud" and a smiley face emoticon

Pride: a celebration, a movement…. and an inspiration

8th June 2021

June marks Pride month which was originally set up as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots which took place in New York City in 1969 and aimed to achieve equality for the LGBTQ+ community.  

Pride is celebrated globally and brings people from LGBTQ+ and wider communities together to increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

When I was in my early twenties, I happened to arrive in San Francisco as the Pride parade was happening and I have vivid memories of all the colourful floats passing through the streets.  The experience of being part of something so positive, inclusive and vibrant made a real impact which has stayed with me to this day.

However, Pride is not just about one month of celebrations and parades.  It is also a hugely important worldwide movement which represents the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality and rights.

The progress that has been achieved through the Pride movement for the LGBTQ+ community is astounding and inspirational and I really hope to emulate this in my work and through We Are All Disabled.

As you know, We Are All Disabled began with this blog and I am now looking to hold the first ever We Are All Disabled conference in October which will bring together speakers and delegates from across disabled and non-disabled communities to explore definitions and perceptions of disability.

In order to make the event as inclusive and accessible as possible, the conference will also launch a series of online workshops and discussion groups on the theme of ‘Are you sitting uncomfortably?’ where people are encouraged to have open conversations about subjects and issues around disability, perceptions, bias and prejudice within a safe and supportive space.

If it is successful, I hope to make the conference an annual event and to develop We Are All Disabled as a forum for sharing experiences, thoughts and open discussion. I aim to create a ‘go to hub’ for information, advice and training for anyone looking to explore, challenge and change perceptions of disability at a personal or organisational level.

I’m incredibly grateful for the positive responses and support I’ve received for the conference so far.  In terms of funding though, we still have a way to go to get the project off the ground. If you are able to donate or are part of an organisation that may be willing to sponsor the conference then please visit my Crowdfunder page or contact me directly.

My ‘dream’ for We Are All Disabled is to create an engaged community where people feel supported to share their own experiences of disability and where others can become educated about issues that they have little personal experience of, but are interested in understanding further.  Through this I aim to bring about lasting and positive change on the perceptions and understanding of disability, and therefore the everyday experiences of disabled people.  

For me this is a personal adventure which I feel proud and honoured to be on  and with your support I know that I can make this dream a reality.

Photo by Yoav Hornungon Unsplash

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