Community Mental Health Hero: Brighton LGBT Community

Brighton Pride with Grassroots Suicide Prevention

This Saturday I experienced my first Brighton Pride. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I moved as I’ve heard from lots of people how fun it is. Brighton is heralded as such a supportive place. Since the election it has been known as the People’s Republic of Brighton and Hove; one Labour and one Green constituency surrounded by a sea of blue.

I decided to walk in the parade with a charity I volunteer with, Grassroots Suicide Prevention. You can find out more about the work they do on the reference page. We were walking to highlight the high rates of LGBT, and in particular transgender, suicide and let everyone know that there is help out there for people having suicidal thoughts.

I don’t think I was really prepared for the experience. There were streets and corners that were packed with people, four to six rows deep. Although they were cheering, celebrating and dancing as we approached there was a collective change in the mood as people saw who we were and what we were there for. A few people cried, maybe remembering their own experiences or someone they had lost, some came up and hugged us, some thanked us for being there, gave us thumbs up, a lot clapped harder and cheered that little bit more ferociously.

It was hard not to be moved by it. You could catch the eye of someone you had never met and share a moment knowing you had shared not just a similar experience, but one that often made people feel so utterly isolated. It was something I will remember whenever things get tough; a community of people standing together and acknowledging that suicide is an issue and that we can all help each other to face it and deal with it.

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