This has been a funny old year hasn't it? You wake up one day and its February and you wake up the next and BOOM, its August! Its been an incredibly tough year for many of us and sometimes it feels like time isn't really moving at all.
This weekend should have been our yearly LGBTQ+ Pride celebration, which is a big thing to us Brightonians but it has been postponed to next year in light of the current sitation with the Coronavirus still making its rounds.
In honour of what should have been, I'm holding my very first event; For every bar of my Pride inspired soap, The Gay Bar that I sell from Saturday 1st August to midnight on Monday 3rd August, 25% will be donated to The Brighton Rainbow Fund charity.
What is the The Brighton Rainbow Fund?
The Brighton Rainbow Fund is a Brighton and Hove based grant-giving fund for local LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS organizations. Simply put, rather than donating money to different LGBTQ+ charities, the money is donated to the Rainbow Fund where it is then split between different charities as required.
Where does the money go after its donated?
Over the last five years, a range of local groups have benefited from the Fund, including Accessibility Matters, Allsorts Youth Project, Blueprint 22 Youth Project, Brighton GEMS, Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum, Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard, Brighton Our Story Project, Clare Project, FTM, LGBT Small Groups Network, Lunch Positive, MindOut, Older & Out, Peer Action, RadioReverb, Rainbow Chorus, Rainbow Families, Sussex Beacon, The Justin Campaign, Trans Alliance and Trans Can Sport.
Why is this important?
The National LGBT Survey last year found that LGBTQ+ respondents are less satisfied with their lives than the general UK population, with trans respondents recording even less satisfaction.
• More than two thirds of LGBT+ respondents said they avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others.
• At least two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBTQ+, such as verbal harassment or physical violence in the 12 months preceding the survey. However, more than nine in 10 of the most serious incidents went unreported, often because respondents thought ‘it happens all the time’.
• 24% of respondents had accessed mental health services in the 12 months preceding the survey.
People identifying as LGBTQ+ experience disproportionate levels of hate crime, both physical and verbal, mental health issues, domestic abuse, loneliness and social isolation. We are not alone in experiencing these issues, but we need LGBT+ specific services to support those in our communities experiencing them, and that’s where these projects come in. Thats why its so very, very important that charities like The Rainbow Fund exist.
While the Brighton and Hove Pride celebration is not the only thing that helps the Rainbow Fund to fund our local charities, the ticket costs and donations definitely contributes a good chunk towards it and with the weekend postponed it isn't yet known how much money they will have to donate towards these important charities later this year.