Blog | Pride and identifying as LGBT+ in Scouting
We asked several of our members about why they attend Pride events and what it’s like to identify as LGBT+ in Scouting. Here’s what they had to say.
Davina, District SASU Member
For me, being a transgender person, attending Pride helped me to better myself and have more confidence to be able to do more for people in Scouting. It's having that support around me to grow into a wonderful person. I like attending Pride Events to show everyone that I'm proud to be a Transgender person in Scouting. As a transgender woman in Scouting, I love being with the Flags members and the leaders in my District who are amazing, wonderful and supportive people. It's having fun and having a smile at the end of the day as I leave Pride events and District events. I'm proud to be who I am and believe in myself.
Nat, Explorer Leader
I never have to worry about being openly different from the heterosexual norm in Scouting. I know that everyone around me is accepting - they are my family. To echo one of the Scout laws, which every Scout has said and promised to keep, a Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouting - and I certainly feel this promise is well kept.
When I attended Pride in London as an Explorer last year, it was fantastic to see so many Scouts there, as it was a mix of my two prides - being bisexual and being part of Scouting. It was amazing to see Scouts from all different sexualities and Districts networking at the event. This made me feel at ease as it was my first year coming out as bisexual, and everyone around me was full of joy and support. I even made a new friend on the day and we still get along really well. 10/10! I would recommend!
Emily, Explorer Leader
For me, it is hugely important for The Scout Association to attend Pride events. It's a great way for us to show that as a Movement, we are accepting of all, no matter what their sexual preference or gender identity. I think that whilst a lot of members are already aware of this, attending pride parades shows this to the outer world, and sends a clear message - we are proud to be Scouts and we are proud to be ourselves.
People I knew through Scouting were the first people I told once I myself had accepted my sexuality, and I can honestly say that I have never felt so welcomed or accepted. There is something very refreshing about saying to people 'this is who I am, I am a lesbian, but I'm still me' and them actually understanding that it makes no difference. I am still me and everything is still the same. They just know a little more about me now.
I think that part of the reason that people within The Scout Association are so accepting of the LGBT+ movement comes from the Scouting Values. And also from being well-rounded individuals who know that other people's preferences and identities don't matter, as long as they are happy and proud.
This year, I've been the communications lead for the project team organising the Scouts presence at London Pride. This has been a fabulous experience, and it's been great meeting and talking to so many different individuals with different stories and backgrounds to pull together what I'm sure will be an incredible day!
Jack, Explorer Leader
This year I will attend my first ever Pride event. To have pride in something means to have satisfaction from your own achievements and that is exactly why it's important to attend Pride events. Everyone has the right to be who they want to be and personally, it has taken a while, but I am now proud of who I am and attending a Pride event is the most enjoyable and fun way of doing that!
I have seen loads of photos and videos of Pride events and noticed all of the colour and happiness but now I realise that it's so much more than that. It’s about creating a space where no one feels out of place, and where everyone is safe and surrounded by likeminded people. It’s a celebration of our true identities and a recognition of how far we have come on tackling the issues. Attending a Pride event is as important now as it ever has been and I really can’t wait!