What does Pride Month mean to you?

Every year, in the month of June, people across the world celebrate Pride Month. This is the time to celebrate LGBTQ+ people, raise awareness about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and break down some of the barriers that still remain in the fight for equal rights and opportunities.

In NHSScotland, we are proud of the steps that have been made to further the cause of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly with the introduction of the NHSScotland Pride Badge. We have come along way, but there is still further we can go.

In this blog, we have spoken to some people working in the NHS in Scotland, to find out what Pride Month means to them.

Karen

Karen Reid is Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

Prior to joining NES, Karen was Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) portfolio holder for education, public protection, and early learning and childcare.

Her past roles have included Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate and Interim Chief Executive leadership of Education Scotland.

What does pride month mean to you?

Pride month for me, is a very symbolic platform to celebrate LGBTQ+ life, building hope and confidence and promoting equality and inclusion across Scotland. Everyone should feel safe and comfortable being themselves, being with the one they love and supported to live their best life. Every month should be a pride month where LGBTQ+ and their families and friends can live openly, happily and peacefully without fear of stigma or discrimination.

Marie

Marie at a Pride march with a rainbow flag

Marie is a consultant pathologist at NHS Lothian and Associate Postgraduate Dean at NHS Education for Scotland (NES). She is also Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network at NES.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride month is a chance to celebrate with our community, as well as taking a pause to reflect on how far we have come and to remember the people whose shoulders we stand on. So much has changed in my lifetime in relation to LGBTQ+ equality, and Pride as a protest has contributed to so much of that change, which has been both legal and cultural. Pride is a chance to focus our efforts on continuing to move forward in a positive way, towards a truly equal society.

Katy

Katy

Katy is Principal Lead for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights at NHS Education for Scotland (NES). Prior to joining NES in January 2022, Katy worked at Public Health Scotland in a variety of public health areas including childhood adversity, homelessness, and equality and human rights.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride month is an important way for us all to recognise and celebrate how far we have come in LGBTQ+ equality. But we must not become complacent. While we now have a society which is more inclusive, there continues to be discrimination for LGBTQ+ communities. A recent health needs assessment by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian highlighted worrying issues, particularly around mental health needs. I am, however, an optimist. As I see my own daughters learn about Pride in their primary school, I remain hopeful that they are growing up in a society which will celebrate diversity and recognise and eliminate discrimination for our LGBTQ+ family, friends and colleagues.

NHSScotland Pride Badge

The Pride Badge identifies its wearer as someone who LGBT+ people can feel comfortable talking to.

Who we are

The NHS is the largest employer in Scotland. Our diverse and global workforce is one of our key strengths.