The recently formed British Veterinary LGBT+ (BVLGBT+) group and supporters stride out with other Pride Parade groups on Saturday 25 June.
Vet Mat Hennessey started the group after noticing a medics banner at the Pride in London Parade last year and realising that there was a need for representation and support for the LGBT+ community amongst vets.
BVLGBT+ is open to anyone who wants to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights within the veterinary professions, whether studying or working, and since its launch in late 2015 it already has 430 members. Officers of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), including the President Sean Wensley, will join BVLGBT+ at the Parade.
Mat Hennessey said: “Seeing that banner brought to the fore something that I had been aware of for some time – the need for a visible and supportive community for veterinary surgeons and nurses, practice managers and other colleagues who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and the colleagues who want to support us and promote equality. The launch of BVLGBT+ last year and our first AGM in April of this year are landmarks. But joining the Pride Parade really puts LGBT+ vets on the map. We are delighted to be part of this celebration of the LGBT+ community and its friends.
“However, as we join together for the Pride in London Parade, we would also like to include in spirit vets who may be working in remote, rural regions, without a LGBT+ community to plug into as this can be a lonely and isolating experience. Our message to these colleagues is – ‘We are here for you too, ready to listen and to support you.’”
Sean Wensley BVA President commented: “BVA is proud to have supported BVLGBT+ in its inaugural year and to be walking with our LGBT+ colleagues in the Pride Parade. This is an important moment for the profession as a whole, as well as our LGBT+ colleagues, showing the world that the veterinary profession is one that is open, diverse and supportive.”