#alwaysinsight with Ste Dunn, Chair of Northern Pride

Welcome to the new home for insight into LGBT+ life here in the north east, and whilst it is Northern Pride that are the hosts of the website, the content will be from our community.

Ste Dunn, Chair of Northern Pride explains why ‘insight’ and why now.

Everyone has a story

I’ve been a huge fan of Dr Seuss for many years and for many reasons. Dr Seuss inspires me to keep going. He was turned down by 27 publishers before he finally got his first yes! That was back in 1937, and still today, his books are read, loved and re-read across generations. But where was his focus? It was on young minds. Minds free from preconceptions, free from judgement, ready to be crafted, ready to be brightened.

Dr. Suess and some of his illustrated characters

His story’s are whacky and wonderful in one, brave and beautiful, but most of all they all have meaning. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! teaches us to be brave, to know our own mind, and to decide the direction we go in. Happy Birthday to You!, reaffirms “There is no one alive who is Youer than You”. Horton Hears a Who! lets us know that everyone is important “no matter how small”, the modern fabe of Yertle the Turtle has a political message reminding us “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”

But theres always one that always stands out…

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss, from ‘ I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!’

Everyone has a story to share, maybe not right now, but some day. And when the story is shared, people will be educated, enlightened, even inspired.  My story isn’t one of uniqueness but when a colleague heard my story they were inspired to finally live their own truth. That’s one of the reasons why I got involved in Pride. The realisation that there are others out there needing to hear someone’s story to fully understand, possibly accept their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

It’s not just stories that can inspire or help drive us, it’s debates, and opinions. We often gather (granted not right now) round a table, drink of choice in hand, and put the world to rights. It might be on the latest Netflix series featuring some fab queer characters or challenging our view of politicians actions like those recently of Liz Truss and the GRA. But have we ever stopped to think our conversations could help others? 

Our voices are valid, our opinions are valid… we are valid. 

We’ve had this dream to provide our community the platform they need to get their voices heard and the idea of Insight was born. Whilst providing insight into LGBT+ life, we remain always insight! 

Insight will provide a platform to share, to debate and to challenge our view of the world, to educate, inspire and promote a better future for our community.

Coronavirus has found us all in a world unrecognisable and whilst many of us are losing some luxuries in life, holidays, day trips and nights out. Many are finding themselves in hostile environments, possibly living in homes where their gender identity isn’t accepted, or isolating away from support networks.

We hope with the creation of Insight, we can provide a glimmer of light that you are not alone, and there are people out there in our community with shared feelings and experiences, that will help through the pandemic and beyond.

We’d love to hear from you

If you have a story to share, an opinion to give, we’d love to hear from you.

Some of our friends

Many of our friends are still operating and able to continue to help you during the pandemic.

If you’re a young LGBTQ+ person and you’re self-isolating in an abusive or hostile environment, we’re here for you.

You are not alone. 💜

If you need support, visit akt.org.uk and tap the ‘chat’ box on the bottom left corner of your screen 💻📱

Our live chat is available Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm.

“We know that home can’t always be a safe place for everyone and that can be made even more difficult by the restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“But I want victims of domestic abuse to know that we are here for you and that if you need to leave the home to get support then we can help.”

If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, contact Northumbria Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, or visit the ‘Tell us Something’ pages of our website. Victims can also contact Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116 who will give independent advice and support.

For more information about domestic abuse advice search Northumbria Police online. All our webpages have a ‘hide page’ function and there is guidance on deleting your internet history. If you have concerns about using your own devices, contact a close friend or family member to use their device or use the internet access at a local library.

Talk to Mermaids, 0808 801 0400 or text! Helpline Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm

Calls to Mermaids are confidential and any details recorded will not be shared with a third party. All staff, trustees and volunteers are required to comply with our Privacy and Confidentiality policies.

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (#Covid19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. 

💚 While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times. 

It’s a tough time at the moment but If U Care Share are still here for you. Their team are working a bit differently at the moment but they’re still here for you.

You may be feeling scared, confused or needing some support. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Mesmac Newcastle are a gay/bisexual men’s health project, offering FREE HIV tests, advice and information on many different health issues including PEP (Exposure to HIV Treatment), Sexual Health Services, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), mental health and much more. 

They also provide services for young gay/bisexual men, help line and outreach service. Their service is available for Newcastle residents only due to funding, although the HIV test service is open to all.

You can contact Shine for all kinds of information, such as booking a HIV test, finding information out about HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), domestic & sexual abuse and much, much more. Shine offer the chance to talk about things like relationships, safer sex and general women’s health issues. 

Be is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. We work to improve the lives of Trans and Non-Binary people throughout the North East and West of England and beyond through our peer support groups and social events. 

Ste Dunn (he/him) is now into his second year as Chair of Northern Pride. Having worked for more than 15 years in delivering projects and managing programmes, he has also gathered considerable experience in communications and marketing – which have been particularly useful in his role within Northern Pride. One of his first activities was to launch a new brand and firmly spell out its aims and ambitions, under the titles of Protect, Promote and Provide. The new logo paid homage to one of the iconic attractions of the region – The Angel of the North. The “new look” Northern Pride, has been warmly received by the LGBT+ community, supporters and businesses across the region. Ste is strongly committed to improving education around LGBT+ issues to ensure future generations are accepting of all people, regardless of their gender and sexuality. As a family man himself, Ste believes this is a high priority, as is promoting health and wellbeing among the LGBT+ community. Issues that are very real today – depression, self-harm, suicidal feelings – along with living with HIV and AIDS are key areas that Ste and Northern Pride are keen to support and educate.