Feeling pride and finding belonging with the National Trust

Published : Tue 6th Sep

On 4 June, Olivia and Daniel volunteered at Oxford Pride, alongside nine of their colleagues. It was the first time they were able to attend a Pride festival in person since 2019. Olivia only joined the National Trust in May, so it was a rewarding experience being able to volunteer with teammates and meet new colleagues who share the same values. For Daniel, he joined the organisation during lockdown in 2021, so this was a chance to finally see his colleagues face-to-face and meet other Trust staff and volunteers from around the region. We’ve been speaking to them about the experience and how it felt to be back at Pride.

“As the National Trust’s first in-person Pride event since 2019, it felt tremendous to take part in Oxford Pride and represent the National Trust. It was a joy to support such an important cause to celebrate the work of the LGBTQ+ community, promote the education of LGBTQ+ history and encourage self-acceptance in line with the Trust’s motto ‘For everyone, for ever’.

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Sharing our pride with others

We decorated the stall with National Trust Pride merchandise – the badges and stickers of the National Trust’s LGBTQ+ logo were very popular. Our stall looked fabulous and attracted attention from existing and potential members – many sharing stories about what has encouraged them to attend their first ever Pride event after coming out in lockdown. We felt so proud that they trusted us with such personal experiences. This shows that Pride events are a safe place for people to express their identities and be their true selves.

There was a great camaraderie with fellow organisations whose volunteers shared stories of their experiences at past Pride events and highlighted which upcoming events they were looking forward to. It was great to be able to interact with other stallholders, listen to feedback on how they found past events and gain an understanding on what other organisations are doing to support LGBTQ+ colleagues in the workplace.

Feeling part of the community

We joined the parade with over 1,000 participants and spectators, proudly waving our National Trust Pride flags and banners, and sporting our National Trust badges. Even though it quite literally rained on our parade, it didn’t dampen our spirits.

Seeing the range of flags representing different gender identities and sexual orientations was wonderful and created such a positive and colourful atmosphere. Shout out to Bruno who joined us – see photo (left) of our canine friend.

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Meeting new people at these events reminds you that no one has to feel alone – the whole of the LGBTQ+ community is at your side. Pride events are a place to feel safe, valid and accepted in a world that doesn’t always understand. We feel extremely proud to represent the National Trust and support the LGBTQ+ community in this way.”