This week is all about pride, a time of year when we celebrate diversity in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s a good opportunity to share with you one of the key messages that I leave kids with when I volunteer for a charity called Diversity Role Models.
As a role model, I go in and take part in about five workshops in a school day and I talk about my coming out story. The key message I leave kids with at the end of our story is to celebrate the similarities between ourselves and not the differences. I think it’s something we could all do a little bit more of. We can all lean slightly towards being judgmental or looking for what separates us rather than what brings us together.
With it being Pride Week, what better time to really rethink that and try and find a little bit of common ground between all of ourselves – we really need diversity, it’s so important.
I live in London and we have a lot of diversity, but in some parts of the world it’s just not like that. And I think it’s a crucial part of our wellbeing.
Understanding, appreciating and valuing that we’re all different and being really strong in yourself and your identity and who you are, is such a fundamental part of wellbeing.
The closer I got to who I really am was by doing work over the years and massive experience and learning, and the clearer I got on who I was, the better and happier I felt. And of course the better my health was because I made better decisions. I stopped doing some things and started doing other things. I really valued longevity as opposed to being unsure of who I am and all the negative ways that you can express that.
My underlying message is look for the similarities between each other and not the differences – this directly contributes to wellbeing and if you start to do that, we get a better sense of community. Communities make us happy. Communities help us look after each other.
If you’re taking part in Pride, have an amazing time. If not, get behind it and support it!