It's been 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising in New York that kick-started the LQBTQ+ liberation movement. Pride month is celebrated every June, and we joined London's PRIDE parade on Saturday 6 July.
It's the first time Prostate Cancer UK staff, volunteers, and supporters joined the parade. More than 50 of us marched to show our support for the cause and raise awareness of prostate cancer in the LGBTQ+ community and the 1.5 million people watching the parade.
It was a chance to highlight the information and resources we have developed for gay and bisexual men and trans women. This includes tailored information relating to sexuality and lifestyle, and support services such as our online community and support groups for gay and bisexual men.
Our ‘walking float’ marched alongside 35,000 other people from over 600 organisations, to show that we are here for everyone. We were joined on the day by volunteers from METRO Walnut, a support group for gay and bisexual men and trans women affected by prostate cancer in South London. Simon Faulkner, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011, help create the support group and he and five members of the group joined us on the day.
Simon said: “Members of the LGBTQ+ community who are affected by prostate cancer need support that reflects them as a person. That is why tailored information and support services like the METRO Walnut for gay and bisexual men and trans women affected by prostate cancer, are so crucial. Some members of this community feel too embarrassed to ask certain questions about prostate cancer and therefore will not ask them. As a gay man that has been affected by prostate cancer, I feel that I am a voice for the LGBTQ+ community and want to provide a safe environment for them to ask those important questions. I want to open up those conversations about prostate health amongst the LGBTQ+ community and give them a voice too so that they do not go unheard.
I had a truly wonderful day walking with Prostate Cancer UK and members of the METRO Walnut at London’s PRIDE. Everyone involved was so enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Prostate cancer should not be a diagnosis that isolates or limits people’s lives, but until we get a cure or better and less invasive treatments, all communities need to help one another, educate and support those affected by the disease on their journey, whatever the outcome might be. I am so glad that we reached out to the LGBTQ+ community to reiterate our message that we are here for them. I hope that Prostate Cancer UK will continue to engage with this community and raise much needed awareness of prostate cancer."