Get that Community Feeling this Pride Month

Gay Abandon. Saturday Night at the Movies. Leeds College of Music. Photo by Karen Hope, Saturday June 22 2013.

It feels like Pride month is more important than ever at the moment. The sense of community that it provides to so many people is exactly what we need: to feel supported, a part of something bigger than ourselves, and loved.

This Pride month, while you’re waving rainbow flags and celebrating, why don’t you also do something that actively supports LGBTQ+ people in your local community and foster that sense of togetherness? You could:

  • Donate money or time to LGBTQ+ charities or causes. Those who are Trans particularly need financial support due to the 5+ year wait time to receive live-saving medical treatment from the NHS.
  • Advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and causes. Now is an excellent time to write to your local MP or Councillor to ask for change regarding LGBTQ+ rights. Or if you don’t quite feel up to that, just write positive messages and comments on news articles that you see online.
  • Check in on LGBTQ+ members of your community. Between the pandemic and their personal circumstances, they could be feeling very isolated and would appreciate having someone reach out to them.

This Pride, let’s work harder than ever to make sure that everyone feels a part of our community!

Community Spirit

Hands of Friendship, Gay Abandon’s 20th Anniversary Concert, Leeds College of Music, 21st July 2018
Photographer: Dawn Kilner

If this pandemic has taught the choir anything, it’s that we’re more than just a choir, we’re a community.

In the past, we’ve always tried to be more than just a group of LGBT+ people who get together on a weekly basis and sing, organising trips out together, Weekends Away, and socials like bowling, karaoke, and Soup and Sarnie nights before rehearsals. However, amazingly, this kind of activity actually increased when we were unable to meet together face to face.

An online book club emerged , bringing together people who wouldn’t normally chat at a rehearsal through their love of good LGBT+ literature. Our section leads went above and beyond as caretakers of the people in their sections, contacting people who hadn’t been able to join our online rehearsals to make sure they were okay and still felt involved in the choir. Members of the choir even volunteered to organise online socials, which included everything from treasure hunts to quizzes, so that the choir was able to maintain it’s social element that we all know and love.

It has been lovely seeing how much our members care about the choir, not just the singing bits, but all the other bits that make Gay Abandon as special as it is. Everyone has worked so hard to maintain the community spirit that Gay Abandon has, and we know that it is that that will keep us going right through to the end of this difficult time.