By Richard Stone (He/Him). Co-Chair of CCP DIAG.

“I will challenge inequality wherever I see it. I will respect the pronouns you ask me to use. I will provide support and information where I can. you are safe with me to be the authentic you."

There is a saying: “You don’t know where you are going until you know where you have been”. For me this is a great reminder about LGBT+ month, which is designed to promote and support the ongoing struggles faced by my community. It is true things have improved but there is still a journey ahead.

Each year there is a theme to LGBT+ History Month, and this year's theme is Politics in Art, or as I see it, the power of getting a message across through an image. Jumping back to what feels like a thousand years ago, as a young man I would avoid imagery associated with the LGBT+ community for fear of outing myself. This caused a lot of inner conflict and turmoil, and my wellbeing did suffer. These days I am much more comfortable in who I am and what I am about as person.

Images are so powerful in expressing meaning, so I want to introduce you to the meanings behind some powerful pictures for me and the family. Where my family has always been supportive, last year was the first time I had family attend a Pride event. 

Left to right myself, Logan and Emily. Where my family have always been supportive of me, this is the first time I have ever attended a Pride event with them and have been completely my authentic self.

And this has to be my favourite picture of all time! Logan is the brother of my niece's partner and a trans lad. We call him baby brother. This was his first Pride event; one of the first times he was truly his authentic self. When I first met him he was shy and nervous, but that day I saw him come out of himself and saw a strong, caring and independent young man blossom. I am proud of you baby brother.

So, my challenge to you is, if images from your life show a powerful message for you, we would love to see them and know the meaning behind them.