Pride is more than just a month. It's a year-round celebration of the diverse LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning) communities worldwide, and support for the work that still needs to be done in the fight for equality.
Coming to terms with who we are isn't always easy. Although we’ve seen progress in recent years, it's important to appreciate the sacrifices of those who have fought for progression, and to understand the experiences of those who still struggle.
Along with our mental health charity partner, Mind, we want you to know you're never alone, no matter how you identify. We want everyone to feel able to embrace their identity. At McLaren, we're dedicated to ensuring this is at the heart of our core values.
Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, we were proud to unveil a Pride Month speedmark on the MCL36 alongside McLaren Racing Engage, our initiative to advance diversity, equality, and inclusion within motorsport.
Mind is here to provide support to all LGBTQIA+ communities, all year round. One of their key areas of focus this year is campaigning to ban conversion therapy. Conversion therapy (also known as ‘cure’ therapy or reparative therapy) is the attempt to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. This is not 'therapy', and Mind is calling on the UK Government to ban the damaging practice for everyone.
Being LGBTQIA+ does not cause mental health problems, but statistics show that LGBTQIA+ people are two to three times more likely to experience a mental health problem due to discrimination they may face. Fifty-two per cent of LGBT people say that they have suffered from depression in the last year, with a further 10% saying that they might have experienced it in the past. Three in five say that they've experienced anxiety in the last year.
Conversion therapy is just one of the many negative and painful experiences that those who identify as LGBTQIA+ may experience. Others include, but are not limited to: homophobia, biphobia and transphobia; experiences of stigma and discrimination; difficult experiences of coming out and social isolation, exclusion and rejection.
Marcel Vige, Head of Equalities Improvement at Mind, said:
"Pride is incredibly important. We know that those of us who identify as LGBTQIA+ are more likely to experience a mental health problem – not because of our identities, but because of the discrimination we face every day. At Mind, we support all LGBTQIA+ communities, not just during Pride, but all year round. We will continue to fight to ensure everyone gets the support and respect they deserve."
If you’re finding things tough, Mind’s website offers information and advice to support everyone. Visit mind.org.uk/pridemonth2022. Here, you can find information and support, including tips on supporting someone who is LGBTQIA+ and how to access support yourself.
Please join us in supporting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, and in our efforts to create a more equal and accepting society.
Statistics courtesy of: Journal of General Internal Medicine (2015), Sexual Minorities in England Have Poorer Health and Worse Health Care Experiences: A National Survey and Stonewall (2018), LGBT in Britain – Health Report.
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