Liverpool LGBTQ+ support company Over The Rainbow tell us why Pride month is as important as ever - The Guide Liverpool

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Liverpool LGBTQ+ support company Over The Rainbow tell us why Pride month is as important as ever

20/06/2021

It’s Pride month, and with this year’s July Pride celebrations unfortunately cancelled, we spoke to ’Over the Rainbow Support’ about what Pride means to them.

‘Over the Rainbow’ is a non-profit, community interest company which was officially established in September 2020.

The company was set up by a group of friends with the common goal of improving the lives of those who identify as LGBTQ+.

The Chief Executive, M-Jay Fulton, described Pride month as giving the LGBTQ+ community that extra voice and an opportunity to be proud of who they are.

“We can celebrate the many successes we’ve had in achieving our rights and visibility, but also, it’s a chance to discuss what more still needs to be done.”

M-Jay, 28, is originally from Cumbria, but moved to Liverpool early last year.

The organisation was set up to address the “disproportionate issues and hardships” the LGBTQ+ community faces.

“Many of our founding members have unfortunately endured hate crime, abuse and discrimination.”

As well as supporting those affected by discrimination, they quickly realised there were other types of support needed, including support for mental health and substance abuse.

“This, we discovered, is due to people unfortunately slipping through the cracks of other forms of support currently available.”

This relationship between the company and Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ community forms the basis of their work by identifying gaps in services, such as age restricted support, or long waiting times.

The company then works with pre-established organisations to improve services in the local area.

“[Organisations] can be better equipped to handle certain situations and people can feel proud of the fact that their voice makes an impact.”

Over the Rainbow Support CIC also run LGBTQ+ Awareness & Sensitivity workshops, which cover questions around sexual orientation, gender identity, stereotyping, discrimination and coming out.

The organisation is particularly important to M-Jay, who has been personally affected by some of the hardships the LGBTQ+ community has to deal with.

“I myself, in the past, have slipped through the cracks of services and understand first hand how damaging that can be.

“That being said, anything can be addressed by first speaking about it, supporting anyone you know that may be struggling and knowing where you can turn to if you need that extra support.”

Despite the restrictions on gatherings, events and social interaction, Pride month is an important part of supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

“Pride is not just a party, it’s a chance to celebrate how far we have come and look at what more we can do to help ensure everyone has a chance to be true to themselves.”

For more information on Over the Rainbow Support CIC, click here.

If you need urgent support or advice, click here.

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