Pride (Volunteer’s Week)

In honour of Volunteer’s Week which takes place every year to celebrate the fantastic contribution millions volunteers make across the UK, we want to take the time to celebrate our fabulous volunteer Rachel who has been helping us around the office with maintaining our databases and providing invaluable support to the community on our helpline. Rachel has a lot to be proud of and we love that she embraces and recognises her own achievements, for self-pride is an incredible force that pushes you forward. Read more about Rachel’s journey below, in her own words.

With Edinburgh Pride rapidly approaching I thought it might be a good idea to write a little piece about what makes me proud, not just for one day when we all march together and wave flags, but over the last year?

So, I am proud of my own achievements first and foremost. I have spent the last years living entirely as female apart from 2 days because the plane tickets were booked in my male name. Otherwise I have lived, ate, slept and loved being an out MtF. I have done some pretty amazing but also scary things in that year:

  1. A holiday to the Philippines, a little nerve wracking to be sure.
  2. A trip around the western islands of Scotland, strangely more nerve wracking than the Philippines.
  3. A holiday to Indonesia for two weeks, a level of scary that there are no words adequate to describe.

I am proud of the people I have made friends with who have helped me through the bad days where I have struggled with my depression or anxiety and helped me carry on.

I am proud of myself for reaching out to other people and helping them to come out or to overcome the difficulties they have faced in their everyday lives.

I am proud of my girlfriend for overcoming her personal misgivings and coming to realise that love between two people is love regardless of what body parts they have.

I am proud of all the people I have meet over the last year for the level of acceptance I have received, more than I had ever expected or even dared hope for. I think I have been asked the time, directions, where I got items of clothes from more times in the last years than the previous 45 years living as a male combined. It’s made me realise that although there are still some horrible people out there, 99.99% of the population just want to live their own lives and are happy for you to do the same.

I am proud of the country I live in that, even already being a good place to be LGBTQ+, has made advances to become more open and equal for everyone.

So as we approach the pride season, please reflect on your own year and be proud of yourself.

With love and pride,
Rachel  XXX