“I feel incredibly proud to say that I stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. I want to help shape the future of the young people we support to freely express who they are.”
This June, we’ve celebrated Pride Month, where we raise awareness and celebrate the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ people in our communities.
At Aberlour, we strive to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the charity – amongst the staff and the children, young people, and families we support within our services.
My name is Katie, and I’m the Assistant Service Manager for our Dundee Services. I went through a lot of emotional turmoil as a teenager, worrying about others opinions of my life and who I loved: this just so happened to be a girl. For many years, I hid who I truly was from people in my life because I feared being bullied or discriminated against.
As a teenager at school, I barely knew anything about LGBT rights. Still, I knew what I wanted in my life, which was a relationship with a girl. For me, the opinion of others was a heavy burden to hold. However, 15 years from realising my sexuality, I can now look back and say that I am proud of who I am. I am proud to work in an organisation that promotes inclusion and has a real focus on promoting LGBTQ+ rights.
The Scottish Government approved the same-sex marriage law in February 2014, which was life-changing for me. This news was the most exciting news of my life; it meant that I could marry my high school girlfriend and have the same rights as any other marriage. So in July 2016, we got to do just that, and I married my best friend.
While Pride is primarily a celebratory event, we would do well to reflect on our LGBTQ+ history and recognise the privilege of freedom of expression in Scotland compared to the rest of the world. I feel grateful to live in a country that allows people to express who they are and explore their identities freely.
I feel incredibly proud to say that I stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. I want to help shape the future of the young people we support to freely express who they are. I want to take a positive stance against discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQ+ community and progress equality and awareness within our organisation.
Happy Pride month 😊