Medway Pride, MGSD Centre, 331 High Street Rochester Medway ME1 1DA hello@medwaypride.co.uk 01634 408668

International Transgender Day Of Visability TDOV

Medway Pride & Medway Pride Radio are supporting TDOV though our visability and programing today 31st March 2021.

Why you may ask is TDOV important?

The International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) is celebrated on March 31 every year. It was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in transgender issues. The purpose of TDoV is to recognize the accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people as well as bring attention to their continued struggles. It is an important day for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and the transgender community in particular.

Members of marginalized groups often have limited exposure to successful people that look like them, be it real-world examples or visibility in the media The transgender community is no exception to that rule.

Their visibility in the media is not only minimal but often used to ridicule and missrepresent the community. Over the past 3 years mainstream media has used Trans people, and Trans Women in particular to drive a push back on Trans peoples equality rights and healthcare for young trans people. Taking out court actions against organisations that are supporting the equality rights of trans people or those providing support to them.

From the stories published in mainstream media you would think that Trans people were all powerful, able to quash the voices of the majority of people and demand health care provision to help reduce gender dysphoria and have treatment provided imediately the next day, Forcing children though a conveyor where they are plied with drugs to change their gender without chance to consider their futures.

The reality is very different!

The reality for Trans people of any age today is living in a society where the media is seen as a toxic force with a government that is not taking action to support trans people and where small but organised groups are using the Trans community as a wedge issue to push back on LGBTQIA+ and womens equality rights.

The reality is if you are a young person in need of support to discuss their gender identity with parents, wider family, friends and peers, you are made to feel ashamed and guilty for being you.

If you are lucky and have a supportive family and you find a supportive GP you will be refered to Child & Adolecent Mental Health Services and then onto the Gender Identity Development Service. This pathway to have your first assesment with a gender specialist take up to 3 years, and that is for the first appointment not to receive medical treatment, this is only available after many assesments by child & adolecent pyscologists and gender specialist. It certainly dose not fit the image of a conveyor belt pushing young people though a process to quickly.

If you are an adult and find the courage to discuss your gender identity with family and friends and found the support to ask your GP for help you will come across barriers to access treatment, your GP may not feel able to treat you, if they do refer you to the adult NHS gender service you will find yourself on a 3 to 4 year waiting list for a first apointment. and once you manage to navigate to the appointment you will need to progress through a process that can take another 3 to 5 years to complete your journey. A decade of you life on waiting lists while dealing with life in what can appear to be an hostile environmentn.

The majority are supportive!

When you find the courage and support to be yourself, you will be supprised to find out the the majority of people are supportive of the community. The majority are busy living their own lives and are not bothered about the concerns about which toilet people use, or what services they can access. They may not totally understand why trans people are trans but they are not transphobic.

This is why TDOV is important today. It gives members of the Trans community and others a chance to see that you can live, be happy and successful and a Trans person. It gives Allies a chance to show their support for the community and all this helps those who may need support to not be scared, to find organisation that can support them, and take that first step to live as their true selves.

To the Trans community I say, I see you, I stand with you, I will support you.

To our Allies I say be visable, be vocal in your support, help educate your friends and work mates.

To everyone, take the time to find out more about communities from the communities, talk to them and avoid those who spread hate and conspiracies theories

Hilary Cooke

CEO Medway Gender & Sexual DIversity Centre

Chair Medway Pride

International Womans Day

Shout Out Loud project

In 2019, METRO Zest’s young people participated in English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud project, in collaboration with National Youth Theatre. The project culminated in a site-specific performance at Eltham Palace. Inspired by the fascinating hidden stories and queer heritage at Eltham Palace, this new piece of theatre was devised by the young company themselves. This project was enabled by the National Lottery players via a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

OUR HOUSE

‘Our House’ is a play created and performed by 30 young people from the National Youth Theatre and METRO Charity in September 2019. More than 500 people attended the performances and it won the 2019 UK Heritage Award for Best Event, Festival or Exhibition.

In summer 2019, young people from both the National Youth Theatre (NYT) and METRO Charity had the unique opportunity to develop a new play at Eltham Palace ‘Our House’.

‘Our House’ explores LGBTQ+ stories and the history of the Eltham Palace. Taking inspiration from the lives of Eltham’s famous occupants – King Edward II, King Henry VIII, and Courtauld family, as well as the stories of the countless people including servants, musicians, soldiers, and administrators, whose lives are linked with Eltham and its more famous residents, but whose stories have gone untold or have even been lost entirely.

Over two months, we worked with historians, musicians, directors, writers and theatre professionals to create a new immersive promenade performance*. Following an introduction to Eltham Palace’s history, they researched LGBTQ+ narratives relating to the palace and its inhabitants and, during creative workshops, forged their ideas into a script.

The play is divided into eight short scenes exploring the supposed romance between King Edward II and his favourite, Piers Gaveston, Henry VIII’s upbringing at the Palace with his sisters, and working-class queer stories from the 1930s when Eltham Palace was known for high-society parties.

On the 21st and 22nd September, performances took place at Eltham Palace to both invited guests and members of the public. More than 500 people attended the performances, moving through various Palace rooms and into the gardens to encounter each new scene.

Not only did everyone involved gain writing, performing, and dancing skills, they also gained confidence, made friends, and had a lot of fun. Everyone started to feel a sense of ownership over the site, that it was a welcoming and safe space.

YOUTH

METRO Zest

Youth group for LGBTQ people aged under 16 in Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley or Bromley

About this service

METRO Zest is a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, queer and questioning young people in Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley and Bromley. We meet in Bexley every Friday from 4:30pm to 6.30pm.

It’s a safe space to meet other LGBTQ young people, get support and have fun. We usually have snacks and hang out together. Sometimes we talk about identity, relationships and wellbeing. Every Christmas we have a party with dancing, pizza and cake. We also go to the cinema, Pride in London and UK Black Pride.

COVID-19 UPDATE: This group is now meeting virtually via Zoom.

We look forward to resuming services fully once it is appropriate to do so.

Who can use this service

You need to be aged under 16 and live in Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley or Bromley. You also need to identify as LGBTQ or be questioning your sexuality or gender identity. All our youth groups are free and confidential.

Join this group

Email youth@metrocharity.org.uk or call 020 8305 5004. You can refer yourself or be referred by someone who works with you (like a teacher or youth worker).

We’ll get back to you in 2-3 days. We’ll arrange a quick chat to find out more about you and how we can help. After you’re signed up, you can drop into any session. You don’t have to come every week if you don’t want to.

CLOSER THAN YOU THINK Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

Intra Arts – Chatham Memorial Synagogue – The Ship Inn
337 – 347 – 366 High Street, Rochester
Rochester
ME1 1DA
United Kingdom

The ‘Closer Than You Think’ project provides a unique opportunity by telling a seldom known story connecting two important events: –

Holocaust Memorial Day and LGBT History Month

Locally, two very different establishments, one a social and recreational venue, the other a place of worship have come together united in a shared experience of one of history’s darkest moments.

In the area known as Chatham Intra, are two historic local buildings some twenty yards apart, where two communities have faced each other for decades.

The Ship Inn thought to be one of the oldest LGBT venues in the country and the Chatham Memorial Synagogue over the years have probably had little or nothing to do with each other, perhaps even viewing the other with a degree of suspicion and disapproval.

However, recent history has revealed they do share something of great significance. Both communities over the years have suffered prejudice and discrimination and during the Nazi regime many paid the ultimate price.

It is well known that over 6 million Jews were murdered during the second world war in Nazi concentration camps.

Perhaps lesser known is that tens of thousands of homosexuals were arrested, around 50,000 given severe prison sentences and forced to carry out hard labour. 10-15,000 were incarcerated within the camps, 60% of whom died. For those that did survive, legislation known as ‘Paragraph 175’ introduced by the Nazi’s made homosexuality illegal and regarded them as criminals, as a result they were then transported to German prisons.

WHY NAZI ATROCITIES AGAINST GAY MEN MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

Homosexual men were identified by a large ‘pink triangle’ worn on their uniform and the Jewish prisoners by a ‘yellow star’.

These images will be used to symbolise the bringing together of our two local communities in a shared remembrance of the atrocities they both endured during the holocaust.

This will form part of a visual window display at Intra Arts and the two buildings representing our communities, the Chatham Memorial Synagogue and the Ship Inn will be decorated with fabric replicas of these two iconic symbols.

The installation will be in place on Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2021 at
337 – 347 – 366 High Street, Rochester
and will run throughout LGBT History Month in February

Information will also be made available to schools via links with Chatham Library
Project organisers are local historian and Intra Arts director Peter Moorcraft, musician and gay rights equality and human rights campaigner Martin Adams, and archivist and author Irina Fridman, in association with The Ship Inn & Chatham Memorial Synagogue, where Irina is Education and Outreach Manager.

Organiser Name

Irina Fridman

Other organisation(s) involved

Chatham Library, Intra Arts, Chatham Memorial Synagogue, The Ship Inn

**********************************************************************

“Be the light in the darkness”

An invitation from

Karen Connolly                                                                 Jon Weiner

Co chairs, Holocaust Memorial Day Organising Committee

(on behalf of Chatham Memorial Synagogue, Medway Council, Rochester Cathedral, Medway Inter-faith Action, Medway Youth Council)

National Holocaust Memorial Day was inaugurated by the government to ensure that this nation among others never forgets the most awful act of inhumanity committed in modern history. In remembering the Holocaust, we also call to mind the capacity that humans have to inflict horrendous crimes against one another and on whole groups of people and we remember the terrible atrocities which have occurred both before the time of the Holocaust and up to the present day.

We are commemorating the Holocaust online this year on with the help of students from local schools, Medway Youth Council and Kent Police. As part of Medway’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, a powerful art installation, using pink triangles and yellow stars that gay men and Jewish prisoners were forced to wear during the Holocaust, will be on display at Intra Arts, Chatham Memorial Synagogue and the Ship Inn, in Chatham. The installation will be able to view from 27 January and will be on display throughout LGBT History Month in February.

The theme for 2021 is “Be the light in the darkness”. The aftermath of the Holocaust, and of subsequent genocides, continues to raise challenging questions for individuals, communities, and nations. HMD 2021 asks audiences to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.

For the last few years, school and college students have played a central role in our commemorative events to ensure that future generations keep the memory alive of how so many people suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides.  By keeping the memory alive, we will not let these events fade away into history, to be out of sight and out of mind and we will play our part in educating those who follow us so that they may learn the lessons of these terrible events.

We would like to invite you to join us online at

https://youtu.be/a8f6fgcUo5A

The video will go live early on Wednesday 27 January 2021 and consists of a selection of readings, poetry, drama, music and prayers based on the 2021 theme.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Connolly                                                                 Jon Weiner

Co chairs, Holocaust Memorial Day Organising Committee

(on behalf of Chatham Memorial Synagogue, Medway Council, Rochester Cathedral, Medway Inter-faith Action, Medway Youth Council)

MPR Rochester

Medway Pride Radio

Medway Pride Radio is a new internet radio station based in Rochester.

MPRadio.co.uk is a Not For Profit Community radio station run by volunteers. The station was founded by Shea Coffey & Hilary Cooke to support Medway Pride, the LGBTQIA+ communities and Allies from across all the diverse communities of Medway & Kent.

MPRadio is based at Medway Gender & Sexual Diversity Centre in Rochester in the heart of INTRA, where they aim to be part of the local community. They start broadcasting from 1st February 2021 to support LGBTQIA+ History Month.

The station has a mix of DJ’s and Presenters who will be providing programs that are varied and intresting.

Check out their web app at www.mpradio.app once the app is loaded on your device you can save the app to your screen.

Have a listen to our programs and give us your feedback via our social media or contact details.

If you would like to join us as a volunteer DJ / Presenter please contact info@medwayprideradio.co.uk

Pride 2021

Now its here 2021, at Medway Pride we are working on Pride 2021. What is it going to look like on the glorious summer?

Well, we are working to develop on the success of Gravesham & Medway Virtual Pride 2020, which came together over 3 months after we had to cancel the parade and festival at Rochester Castle due to the COVID 19 Restrictions.

#G&MPride2020 was a successful event with everyone from both Medway & Gravesham Prides pulling together to create an 8-day virtual pride festival out of what would have been 2 separate pride events. Gravesham Pride & Medway Pride were both producing their 1st Pride events and had put a large effort into planning their separate events.

Organisors of #G&MVirtual Pride

Together we were only able to deliver the virtual event due the financial support from the event sponsors and fantastic artists who gave their creative endeavours, free of charge, to deliver video content, both produced, pre-recorded, or delivered as live events. We also had a small but fantastic team of organisers who worked to bring the sponsors, artists, and volunteers together and live stream the event over 8 days. You can still watch over 95% of the video streamed during the pride festival on this web site and appreciate the work the artists and contributors gave to the event.

Gravesham and Medway Prides are now looking to produce their 1st live Pride events in 2021. Building on the legacy of #G&MVirtulPride2020 we are looking at producing both live pride events separated by a week in August where we wish to collaborate with other organisers to create an 8-day festival from 14th to 21st August 2021.

It is difficult at this time to be certain of where we will be regarding live public gatherings in August this year. We are developing contingency plans to adapt the pride festival for the conditions that may be in place in August. We are hopeful that the full real-world event can take place but Pride will happen and comply with whatever rules are in place later in the year.

We are therefor looking for help to produce Medway Pride 2021.

If you are a supporter, we would love to hear from you. We need to raise donations & sponsorship to cover the cost of producing and delivering Medway Pride Parade from Chatham High Street to Rochester Castle, and the cost of producing and delivering a Pride festival at Rochester Castle Grounds, plus the events with Gravesham Pride over the 8-day period.

If you are a sponsor, artist, event organiser, volunteer please contact us at  hello@medwaypride.co.uk or use our contact form.

You can make a donation via our PayPal account buttons on this web site.

Medway Pride Contact Form Please select the options appplicable to your enquiry above.

Pride 2020 – A creative expression from the community

2020 will be remembered for many reasons, some of them great like the support communities gave to each other during the restrictions on socialising during the year, some of them not great at all like the isolation and anxiety caused by those restrictions, separating families and individuals from their support networks. One of the consequences of the social restrictions has been the cancelation of events that bring communities together.

Across the world events have been affected, one of the casualties has been LGBTQIA+ Pride. 2020 was the year Medway Pride had planned to hold a parade and festival, which had to be cancelled in favour of a virtual event #GMVPride2020. Pride is not just a chance to party with your friends, it is also a means to demonstrate human diversity and promote equality for all. It is also an opportunity for LGBTQIA+ organisations to raise funds to allow them to carry on providing the support to those who need help throughout the year.

Medway Pride Mural

Medway Gender & Sexual Diversity Centre, a Rochester based LGBTQIA+ support organisation, had an idea to create a public mural to record the Medway Pride 2020 event and effects that COVID 19 placed on the community.  

Ideas Test Logo

With the support of Ideas Test, a creative arts organisation working in Swale and Medway, who provided a small grant a Medway Pride Mural was created.

The mural was a collaboration, based on ideas formed during discussions with members of the MGSD Centre community and artist Renee Kathleen who designed and created the mural using acrylic on canvas as a half size artifact. This was then reproduced as the full-size mural utilising a local print shop onto an aluminium composite board and erected at the entrance to the MGSD Centre building 331 High Street Rochester.

This is not the end of the creative project though. MGSD Centre is working with Medway Pride & Nucleus Arts to host a gallery exhibition during LGBT History Month 4th to 10 February 2021.

The Medway Pride Mural (Acrylic on Canvas) will form the centre piece of the exhibition which is based on the theme of Pride in Lockdown.

Call for Creative Exhibits

We are calling on creatives to produce artifact using their preferred medium to represent how they celebrated pride during the social restrictions during 2020. We are also looking for work that represents all aspects of the support or isolation that individuals encountered during the lockdown periods.

We are looking at all creative forms including but not limited to, Paintings, Craftwork, Photography, Videography, Written Word, Performance.

Written work can include comments, statements, poetry, essays which we will include in book form for the exhibition.

We are looking to use some of the written work to be included as part of the public mural.

If you wish to contribute to the Medway Pride History Month Exhibition please contact MGSD Centre by the end of December 2020 via info@mgsd-centre.org

Medway Pride Mural

LGBTQI+ Pride 2020 during Covid 19

Call for Art, photography & Written Word

Creatabot

Creatabot

Creatabot
Medway Pride Icon

Creatabot is proud to be a partner in Medway Pride. Due to Covid-19, Medway Pride 2020 will be presented online from 15th to 21st August 2020. We are very excited to announce that we are collaborating with Gravesham Pride to bring a bigger better virtual event for that week.

ABOUT CREATABOT

Natasha Steer – Founder

Creatabot was founded in November 2010 by Natasha Steer and is run from Dragon Coworking in Chatham, Kent.

Originally a website that promoted creativity in Medway, Creatabot has grown to become an organisation that is regularly commissioned for community engaged creative, heritage, health and arts activities. Delivering these commissions often includes involving other creatives and partners.

Commissioners include Medway Council, AMAT UK, Langley House Trust, The Forward Trust, Ideas Test, the Huguenot Museum and Medway Teaching Alliance.

For more information

https://creatabot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/creatabotworkshops/

Firemen with LGBT Flag

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

FIreman with Large LGBT FLag

Our customer Promise

We’re here to help keep you safe whether at work, home or as you move around Kent and Medway. We deliver services for everyone working and living in our changing community. We aim to give people advice and support in order to reduce the risk of fire and other emergencies as they go about their daily lives. Of course, accidents still happen and we aim to provide an excellent emergency response when it is needed, meeting the needs of every individual involved.

Respect, fairness, compassion

  • We recognise without bias the rights, needs and dignity of others in all our contact with you and will work to see things from our customers’ perspective and treat everyone with compassion, fairness and respect
  • We will ensure all people, but particularly those with a disability; lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT); ethnic minority people; older people; and people from minority faiths, are aware of our services, feel confident to access them and understand how they can be adapted to meet individual needs.
  •  

Your safety

We offer a wide range of safety advice and services to help keep you safe. All of our services and advice are provided free of charge. You can find out more from our website If you would like to talk to us about a Safe and Well visit or have any fire safety worries about your home, please call our Safe and Well team on 0800 923 7000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, voicemail outside these hours) and we will be happy to get in touch.

Work for us

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is a great place to work. We have good conditions and will provide training to help you deliver the best possible service  to the public. We pride ourselves on having well-trained professional staff, and an open culture which values diversity and equality of opportunity in employment.

Though we’re best known for rescuing people from burning buildings, firefighters aren’t the only heroes we employ. Behind the scenes, there are many professionals working hard in essential roles the public doesn’t see, including our fire and rescue control team, information systems technicians, finance, HR, Customer Safety and more. Though some of them may not be frontline staff, they all play a vital part in keeping the people of Kent and Medway safe. Any vacancies are advertised on our website and on our Facebook page and Twitter.

You can also sign up to receive any new job alerts.

Fire ENgin with LGBT Flag