What Pride Month means to me
As we approach the end of Pride Month, Carlene, a Temporary Inspector in the MDP, reflects on what the month long celebration means to her.
“As a young person growing up with my younger sister, our spare time was spent kicking a ball around every opportunity we got. Time spent with friends, who invariably were male, meant that the usual ‘look at those tomboys’ comment was attributed to both me and my sister. As time passed, I discovered make-up and dresses, all the things associated with society’s stereotypical image of girls and women, whereas my sister held on to her more tomboy style and outfits.
“My sister only came out to me in the last few years and my reaction to her was ‘I think I knew before you did’, what an ice breaker that was! Every emotion imaginable then took over and we supported each other through what was an extremely difficult period in her life. I will never fully understand these struggles for those in the LGBT community as I have never experienced the hate or range of emotions, they have for simply being their true self. I will however remain committed to being a visible ally and encourage, challenge and support.
“My support as a visible ally to both the MDP LGBT+ Network and Scottish Police LGBTI Association was born from the fact that I thought the time would come when I needed to support my sister and I wanted to be fully prepared to do this.
“I joined the committee of the Scottish Police LGBTI Association many years prior to my sister telling me she was gay. The experiences I have gained from this, have also given me the skills to become an approachable leader in the MDP, in my role as a Sergeant and now Temporary Inspector, as well as an ally to my colleagues.
“Pride Month celebrates how far we have come as a nation in supporting our LGBT friends, family, and our colleagues but it also helps people recognise how far we still have to go.
“I have made amazing friends for life through my involvement with LGBT events and networks, not just in the MDP but across Defence and policing, and I would encourage everyone to get involved in their communities, at home and at work, and support their LGBT colleagues, friends, and family.
“I am proud to be a visible ally and look forward to continuing in this role for many years to come.”
“Happy Pride Month everyone!”