Pride Month: The Charities I Support
Its definitely time for another blog post - this is the third one this year I’m on a roll!! A blog post 3 months in a row is a record for me. This one is easy though, It’s pride month and I’m happy to be writing about the 3 LGBTQ+ charities I am able to support with revenue generated from my Pride Collection.
The first charity I want to talk about is akt (formerly The Albert Kennedy Trust).
I will start with two facts I find quite startling:
A quarter of homeless young people identify as LGBTQ+
A huge 77% of these believe this is as a result of coming out to their parents
akt was founded in 1989 and have helped over 50,000 young LGBTQ+ people and supports around 2,000 young people each year.
History of akt
The year is 1989 and Cath Hall, who was an activist during the days of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality is now an experienced foster carer and founding member of the Manchester Parents Group (MPG).
Cath is fostering a young man named Paul, who is best friends with a sweet boy called Albert Kennedy. Albert is just 16 but has already experienced a myriad of homophobic abuse in his short life while in care of Salford Social Services. On April 30th that year Albert tragically died after falling from a multi story car park roof. A witness saw Albert standing on a ledge shouting ‘help me’ and it is thought he and Paul fled up the multi story car park stairs to escape from homophobic abuse. There was an inquest, but the coroner ruled the death by misadventure.
Cath Hall had become very aware of the rejection faced by young LGBT, the homophobia they faced within school and society and the ejection from their family home. Cath had fostered several young LGBT people who had been running away due to the horrific experiences they had in care.
The death of Albert Kennedy was the catalyst and Cath wrote to a weekly gay magazine asking people who shared her concerns to get in touch. A meeting was set up in Manchester Town Hall in July 1989. A dozen or so people came to the meeting and most of them went on to become dedicated volunteers. It was decided to to recruit volunteers to become big brothers and sisters to look after these young people who were experiencing bullying and homophobia.
The Albert Kennedy Trust (akt) was born to provide positive role models and providing a safe place for young LGBT people to stay.
By 1995 akt has grown an office in London is opened. In 1996 akt won the Stonewall Equality Award. In 2012 akt opened the UK’s first emergency safe house for young LGBT people. Since then, akt has opened offices in Newcastle and Bristol. akt continued to grow and launched multiple campaigns to raise awareness and support LGBT young people. Even after 30 years the issues affecting LGBT youth homelessness are still very relevant today.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first pride march in the UK. While there has been incredible progress in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, progress is not permanent and there is still a long way to go before every LGBTQ+ person is free to be who they are, celebrated and protected. akt has launched the Queer to Stay campaign and you can support it here:
You can make a one time donation or set up a regular payment!
Why I support akt
In the past I worked for a local charity which supported homeless 16-25 year olds where I got to meet some wonderful young people. I saw and heard first hand the struggles homeless young people face in general as well as LGBTQ+ young people. Some of their stories were heartbreaking and will stay with me forever. I understand the importance of these services to young people and am proud to support akt with a monthly donation and to support a campaign when I can.
Named after the Stonewall riots that occurred on the 28th June - 3rd July 1969, Stonewall is the largest LGBTQ+ charity in Europe.
The Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhatten, New York was raided by police in the early hours of June 28th 1969. As the police became violent, the Stonewall Inn patrons, patrons of other Greenwich Village lesbian and gay bars, as well as neighbourhood street people fought back and rioted over the next few days. The Stonewall riots are largely considered to be the turning point that transformed the gay liberation movement and fight for LGBT rights in the US in the twentieth century.
The charity Stonewall was founded in 1989, 1 year after Section 28 was entered into law. Section 28 was a hostile piece of legislation which was created to prevent the supposed ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools. Section 28 was a law that censored text books and the national curriculum and would see teachers lose their jobs if they dared speak of gay people or any part of the LGBTQ+ community.
From the outset, the aim of Stonewall was to create a professional lobbying group that would aim to put a stop to such censure and attacks on LGBT people. Stonewall is renowned for its lobbying and campaigning and have been involved in every major fight for LGBTQ+ rights since it was founded.
- Equal age of consent for bi and gay men
- The end of Section 28 in Great Britain
- Adoption rights for same sex couples
- LGBTQ+ people being able to openly serve in the Armed Forces
- Workplace discrimination protection
- Civil partnership rights for same sex couples
- The right for LGBTQ+ couples to be legally recognised as parents
- Equal marriage rights for same sex couples
- An LGBTQ inclusive national curriculum
Stonewall are currently campaigning for the banning of conversion therapy, equal rights to IVF, workplace inclusion and inclusion in sports.
I am lucky enough to play a sport where inclusion and diversity plays a big part. Roller Derby has taken off in the UK over the past decade and prides itself on creating an inclusive safe space for people to play this amazing sport, regardless of gender, age (over 18 for health and safety) shape, size or experience. I skate with many types of people and we love building people up and giving them the confidence to be comfortable in who they are. It’s wonderful to see people bloom and I wish this could be replicated across all sports.
Stonewall receives no government funding and relies on donations, fundraising events and sponsorship.
You can make a one of or regular donation here:
Why I support Stonewall
Stonewall has undoubtedly achieved what it has set out to do as it is now the largest LGBTQ+ charity in Europe and has been instrumental in getting various laws changed. Equality for LGBTQ+ people is so important, I am proud to support Stonewall in the fight for equal rights.
The Queer Brewing Project aims to provide visibility for LGBTQ+ people in the beer industry, to build community, raise money for crucial LGBTQ+ charities and to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Founder Lily Waite recognised that there was a severe lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the beer world, with the industry dominated by the cisgender, heterosexual male voice. Starting as a passion project, Lily founded Queer Brewing with an aim to change the underrepresentation by collaborating with breweries in the UK and internationally.
The Queer Brewing Team: Charlotte, Lily & Amber
Queer Brewing was founded in 2019 and in 2020 Queer Brewing became the first participant in the Wayfinder (link) Initiative lead by Cloudwater Brew Co. This initiative opens up the resources and experienced team at Cloudwater to the participants in order to create meaningful change within the industry.
Lily jumped at the chance and saw the opportunity to be able to steer Queer Brewing in the direction it needed to go with the guidance of a well established, experienced and highly capable team. Through this initiative, Queer Brewing rebranded, got a new website and designed new merch. I have to say, being a goth at heart I absolutely love the new branding. Tired of the cliche rainbow branding that very often goes with other LGBTQ+ initiatives and with Lily and Creative Director Charlotte loosely defining themselves as goths, the branding perfectly encapsulates this new and exciting queer business.
Since it started, Queer Brewing has brewed over 30 beers in 5 different countries and now has its own core range of beer! I look forward to watching this company grow to great heights and look forward to trying new beers.
Why I support Queer Brewing
Having worked in the beer industry myself, I often found myself stifled by the male dominated environment, looked down upon, or not taken seriously. Queer Brewing are doing fantastic work to break down the barriers of patriarchy within the beer industry, as well as brewing some fabulous, interesting and delicious beer!
I had the pleasure of working with Lily prior to the founding of Queer Brewing so I was excited to see this project get off the ground and I knew I wanted to become a patron.
Be sure to check out my Pride Collection here! I currently make pride flag hoops, rainbow hoops, pride flag industrial jewellery (with more to come as I source the correct size and colour beads) septum/rook jewellery and other earrings. I am always happy to create any pride flag if I am able to find the right beads.
I am also happy to create a listing with no mention of pride or sexual identity if you are not out to your family/guardians and are worried about any repercussions - just drop me a message via the contact form/email address found at the bottom of this page.