This is the last month of our celebration of the Pride Flag, and we are celebrating the pink stripe, love. You may not know that the original pride flag had 8 stripes, but the pink stripe was removed to make the flag simpler. Now, we have seen the return of a pink stripe with the inclusion of the trans flag colours into the modern flag. Love has always be central to activism within the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ people have faced centuries of prejudice – and still face it today, even from friends, family and work colleagues. Yet, the fight for equality has pushed LGBTQ+ communities to truly celebrate their sexuality and gender, take pride in it and explore what it really means – something heterosexual or cisgender couples may take for granted.
One exception here is that this celebration of sexuality doesn’t always apply to the public arena. An Open University study found that LGBTQ+ partners were less likely to show affection in public, often caused by fears around social stigma and personal safety. Living in a society where your wellbeing is at risk takes bravery and courage to be who you are. It also requires you to own your vulnerabilities and be sensitive to those of your partner.
This is why many people are upset at the fact that conversion therapy is still legal in the UK.
Conversion therapy (or ‘cure’ therapy or reparative therapy) refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity. It is based on an assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’. These therapies are both unethical and harmful.
In the UK, all major counselling and psychotherapy bodies, as well as the NHS, have concluded that conversion therapy is dangerous and have condemned it.
Stonewall has found that 7% of LGBTQ+ people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy. Trans people are nearly twice as likely to be targeted and asexual people are also at higher risk. Our government is moving towards a ban on conversion therapy, but you can help move this along faster by contacting you MP and MSP. You can also visit Stonewall Scotland at the address below for more information on how to help: