Representing the Online Community at Pride

Representing the Online Community at Pride

I'm Eliza from the Community team. This year, I was able to represent Macmillan’s Online Community at York Pride 2022. It was an amazing day full of reflection, support and community. I wanted to share this experience with you all here on the Online Community, and let you know what the day was like and why it was important.

If you’re not sure what Pride is, it’s a historic celebration with events and protests across the world to celebrate and recognise the LGBTQ+ community’s history and experiences. Pride is also about recognising the LGBTQ+ community’s ongoing struggles and the need for equality. Pride events take place mainly across June each year. You can find out more in this BBC article about what Pride is and why people celebrate it.

Why was I representing Macmillan’s Online Community at a Pride festival?

Macmillan’s stall was all about helping people to access support, and letting people know it’s ok to talk about cancer. While Pride is a time where many people may be focused on celebration, activism or reflection, we know cancer can affect all aspects of your life. I was there to chat to people about the Online Community and Macmillan’s other support options which are available every day.

I wanted to represent and highlight the Online Community as a safe and welcoming place to find support and chat to other people affected by cancer without fear of discrimination.

What was the day like?

I arrived at the Knavesmire in York at around 10am to help with finishing off preparations for the stall. We had t-shirts, stickers, badges, flags and leaflets ready to go. There were Macmillan staff running the stall and taking part in the parade from different areas of the organisation, many of whom were part of Macmillan’s LGBTQ+ staff network.

People started arriving to look around the stands from around 10:30am. It was lovely to meet so many people who had benefited from or wanted to support Macmillan.

When the parade arrived in the afternoon, it felt like it really was “go time.” We talked to lots of people throughout the day. Many people wanted to talk about how Macmillan had helped them, or around how they could find further support. I was glad to be able to talk to so many people in person around the impact cancer had had on their lives, and how Macmillan can help.

We felt quite lucky to be really close to one of the stages at the festival, as we were able to listen to lots of live music throughout the day.

I got the chance to wander round the stalls for myself, and I saw some amazing art and crafts alongside the opportunity to meet people representing other charities and organisations. I treated  myself to a hand-painted tote bag, which worked out in the end as I picked up so many leaflets!

We had warm and dry weather for the majority of the day, until the very last minute when we were packing up our gazebo and it started raining.

We packed up our stall in the late afternoon, although there was much less to pack up. People had loved the badges and flags in particular!

Did I get to talk about the Online Community?

Yes! I had lots of conversations with people affected by cancer. Lots of people I spoke to didn’t realise just how much support you all offer each other here on the site. I mainly spoke to people who had a loved one who had been diagnosed with cancer. I was able to let them know that the Online Community isn’t just here for people who have a diagnosis themselves. I let people know about the “Family and friends” group, “Carers only” group, and our “Bereaved family and friends” group.

Some people I spoke to looked up the Online Community on their phones while they were at the festival so that they could read through the support and kind messages straight away. To me, this really highlighted how the Online Community can be there for you wherever and whenever you need us.

Where can I find cancer support as someone who identifies as LGBTQ+?

There’s lots of different support available to suit what you may be looking for.

Alongside all our groups here on the Online Community where you can safely and openly talk about diagnosis and treatment, we also have the LGBTQ+ group. This group is here for you if you have any questions or want to chat with other people who identify as LGBTQ+. However, keep in mind the whole Online Community is here for you as well.

If you prefer to read through information, Macmillan’s webpage on LGBTQ+ people and cancer treatment might be helpful to look at.

Live Through This is a dedicated cancer support and advocacy charity for the LGBTQ+ community. 

If you’re not sure where to start or just need to talk, please keep in mind you talk to our teams on Macmillan’s Support Line. You can speak to our nurse specialists and other teams on 0808 808 00 00, by email or by using webchat 7 days a week between 8am-8pm.

I enjoyed taking part in York Pride and having the opportunity to meet so many people. I was glad to be able to help people find out more about the Online Community and how our site can help everyone affected by cancer.  It was also an emotional day to reflect on how far the LGBTQ+ community has come, and also how far there is to go to achieve equality.

We want to do everything we can to support everyone affected by cancer. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and need further help, please feel welcome to reach out to the Community team over email to community@macmillan.org.uk. Please also feel welcome to give any feedback you may have on the Online Community and how we can improve our services to help more people affected by cancer who identify as LGBTQ+.

Find out more about the Online Community team and the LGBTQ+ staff network at Macmillan:

Read more about and from the LGBTQ+ community and find support:

Don’t identify as LGBTQ+? Find out more about being respectful and supportive:

Anonymous
  • A really good blog. In my work our staff networks talk a lot about intersectionality - how many people are potentially affected by more that one issue under the equality act and this story really speaks strongly to that.

  • Hi Steve, thank you for your comment, I'm glad that you liked the blog. Intersectionality is a really important topic and it can be particularly important to keep this this in mind when talking to other people on the Online Community. It sounds like you're able to have a lot of conversations about this at work. It also sounds like you might find our blog Respecting everyone on the Online Community interesting to read through. This blog talks further about not making presumptions about people's identity and touches on intersectional needs.

    If you have any further thoughts or questions, please feel welcome to get back in touch with us.

    Best wishes,

    Eliza 

    Macmillan Community team

  • The blog is really good just to highlight the pride community as a whole so much division in the world still but unity is so important  and some people are just not getting it and it can cause extra barriers for those dealing with cancer and how to communicate with the patient and those around them. Cancer doesn’t discriminate it doesn't care about your sexuality, your colour or your race. Together we are stronger

  • Hi , thank you for commenting to share your thoughts on the blog. You've made a good point that it's really important to highlight barriers that many people face and how we can work together to reduce these barriers, especially here on the Online Community when communicating with others. 

    Please feel welcome to get back in touch with us if you have any further thoughts or any questions.

    Best wishes,

  • Well said Eliza, you make me realize how respectful we should all be towards others regardless of ourselves. The MacMillan Community is an amazing set of folk who receive the wonderful medicine of contact, conversation and community. Thanks to people, like you, and used by people like me. Love to you. Adrian