Mendip raises a flag to support LGBTQ+ Pride Week

Mendip District Council will once again fly a flag at its buildings in Shepton Mallet to mark Pride Week, and celebrate its LGBTQ+ communities.

Pride 2019The Council will also be switching its usual logo on its Corporate Facebook and Twitter accounts for the colourful Pride version, and will be sharing stories and video content, and signposting to support organisations available locally throughout 22nd-29th June.

The aim is to identify, highlight and publicise local groups that are there to help - to ensure all in our communities have access to the resources they need to thrive.

Cllr Barry O'Leary, Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Finance at Mendip District Council, said: "The goal of raising the LGBTQ+ Pride flag again this year is to challenge the stereotype that LGBTQ+ people live only in metropolitan areas, and to elevate the voices and stories of those people living in rural Somerset.

"We also want to raise awareness of the particular issues faced by LGBTQ+ in rural communities, including increased rates of economic insecurity and isolation. There are also heightened challenges facing rural LGBTQ+ youth who can feel especially isolated and unsupported in this coronavirus lockdown.

flag"Pride Month is an opportunity to showcase the diversity of our district and one of Mendip's fundamental values - that we represent, and are here to serve, all people. No one will be left behind.

"We are incredibly excited about this chance to highlight the needs of, and support available, to LGBTQ+ people in our district. Too often these issues have been ignored.

"Mendip is offering leadership in targeting and addressing the needs of this community."

Pride Month takes place in June each year to support LGBTQ+ communities around the world. Usually streets would be filled with colourful parades, however with coronavirus and social distancing still in place, people need to celebrate a little differently in 2020. The Council is encouraging residents to stay safe and take part in the nationally organised 'Pride Inside' virtual event instead.

Cllr O'Leary concluded: "Last year I raised the LGBTQ+ flag at Mendip. Although this year we cannot be together we still can, and must, celebrate our progress, showing solidarity with others who suffer and work towards a more inclusive world."

Check out LGBTQ+ support organisations working in Mendip and Somerset here: www.mendip.gov.uk/lgbtqplus

You'll find details of Pride Inside here: www.prideinside.co.uk