6 June 2024

Why we support Pride at the Health Economics Unit

This Pride Month members of the Health Economics Unit (HEU) team will be joining marchers in London for the second year running, coming together to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and demonstrate our support for equality for all. HEU Lead Client Service Manager and LGBTQ+ EDI network Co-chair Garvin Taylor shared his thoughts on the importance of Pride and the ongoing fight for equality.

“All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others” is the famous quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell that I think about when I hear some people complain about the queer community celebrating Pride Month. If we were all equal, then women would have always been able to vote and go to medical school, and people of colour could have sat anywhere on a US bus. I am passionate in my life and in my work with the Health Economics Unit, about ensuring equality drives the decisions and choices I make, so that the world I encounter becomes a slightly fairer and nicer place to live in.

Words are easy to say but demonstrating actions is the only way forward. This commitment to equality and embracing our diversity within the HEU will be clearly shown when we attend this year’s London Pride parade on 29th June, which is attended by over 1.5 million people. Our values of being collaborative and inclusive highlight that we want everyone to be the best version of ourselves, both at work and socially, and, more importantly, to be proud of who we are. I remember my first Pride, walking with the Terrence Higgins Trust feeling nervous about how the crowd would react to the marchers. Someone threw something from the crowd, and I caught it – it was a packet of Love Hearts that a dad had given his little girl to share with the walkers. It made me so happy to see the generational values being passed down in such a positive way.

Life stories change people perception, and sometimes attitudes, and that is why I, as Co-chair the LGBTQ+ EDI network, have set up talks with guest speakers on topics like  “How a spiked drink changed my life” and “Life shouldn’t be a Drag”. I love the fact that the audience are so positive about hearing other people’s stories and how grateful they are to the speakers sharing some very personal experiences with them. This month I wanted someone very special to talk to the network and allies, so I contacted the lead dancer of Riverdance to share his insight and passion for doing something he loves so much. In July, remembering  “the lost generation of people” that were wiped out by AIDS the NHS, for the first time will start to see an older generation of LGBTQ+ people needing care, so we have a talk about this topic and how we can interact with this new group with dignity and respect.

Finally, remember we are all human and that we should be kind to each other and treat people the way we would want to be treated. Walking in their shoes is a common phrase but sometimes we are the ones in those shoes. We would want to be treated and respected not despite our differences but because of them. After all, a rainbow is made up of a myriad of different colours and together makes our world more beautiful to live in.

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