By James Smuts and Ben Brosnan, Co-Chairs of the Respect Network

Over the next few months we’ll be celebrating Pride and our LGBTQ+ community, albeit in a different way. Because of coronavirus there won’t be the usual Pride marches and celebrations that we’re used to, but this doesn’t make these events any less important.

Inclusion and acceptance are more important than ever and we’re really proud to work for an organisation that champions this and isn’t afraid to tackle issues that affect our communities.

If you didn’t know already, Pride Month is celebrated in June in commemoration of the Stonewall riots which kicked off the first major demonstrations for gay rights. Today, Pride season stretches across the calendar from March until September with celebrations across the world.

Whilst we’ll miss the energy of the Pride marches, it’s important to still talk about why they are held in the first place and how the gay rights movement was born – our Pride Colleague Toolkit has suggestions of how you can get involved.

We’ve organised a series of webinars for you to learn more over the next few weeks. The first is focused on the History of Pride and takes place on Monday – you can find all the details Pride Webinar Details.

We’re also really pleased to be sponsoring The Anthems Podcast between 10th and 16th June. These short daily podcasts are well worth a listen and are themed around Pride and the LGBTQ+ community and presented by a prominent person from within the community or an LGBTQ+ ally. You can listen here.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe Pride season, however you decide to mark the occasion, and if you need any support or would like to join the Respect network email respectlgbt@coop.co.uk