Over the month of June people across the UK have been marking Pride, with communities coming together, albeit in different ways this year, in celebration, protest, and unity with the LGBT+ community.
Our customers and branch teams come from a mix of varied and diverse backgrounds. With many Pride events for 2020 postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19, it’s more important than ever for us to express our solidarity with communities digitally, vocally and financially from our homes.
We spoke to Andrew Crabb, postmaster at Long Ashton branch, about his personal experience as a member of the LGBT+ community and what Pride means to him.
Where is your home town?
I was born in Kent and raised around Orpington and Bromley, then left for university in London.
Is Pride and the LGBT+ community strongly represented/celebrated in your home town?
Growing up in the 80s and 90s I would say it wasn’t really represented, however, when I went to London that all changed and I was able to be more comfortable with myself. Things have changed a lot since then.
What was your experience of telling family/friends that you are LGBT+?
Coming out to people when I was 18-years-old was young. It was hard and my family were more concerned about what people would think. Now I think people aren’t really fussed and people just want to be safe and happy.
Where do you live and work now?
I live in Bristol and work in Long Ashton.
Why did you choose to leave your home town? Was your experience as a member of the LGBT+ community a factor in your decision?
I came out in London, but after my father passed away I was approaching my 30s. I realised that London was a young man’s game. My other half, David, is from the south west and we decided it would be good to move in that direction. I did know at 8-years-old, that I wanted to be near a big city, so I still had some interaction with like-minded people.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a celebration of diversity and acceptance. I have attended several Prides over the years. It is nice to know the level of acceptance out there, although there is more to do.
Do you think that more could be done to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues outside of big cities and enable LGBT+ people across the UK to live their lives on an equal footing?
Yes, I think more could be done as whilst big cities allow more networking, in smaller towns you can feel lonely. This lockdown has probably highlighted this further.
With less Pride activity this year, how do you feel about Pride month and why is it important?
The fact that so much is cancelled this year makes it more important that we do something online, even if it’s just looking at various Twitter feeds, YouTube channels, etc. I will partake on various social media feeds and whilst it won’t be the same, I will look forward to the real events next year. Something is definitely better than nothing.
You can find some social media assets you can share on your Facebook pages to recognise and celebrate Pride 2020 here.