331 High Street Rochester ME1 1DA info@medwayprideradio.co.uk 07484 830114

The Friday Blog

Last week somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 people descended on London, they marched, they partied, they were well behaved, and they had a blast. Speeches were made, songs were sung, and there was a lot of laughter.

I know….

You are thinking if 10,000 people showed up and marched in London you would know all about it. You think it would be on the news, in the press, or at least mentioned on London Radio.

But silence…..

You see they were all transgender people and their allies. Something that news networks just don’t report on. Yeah 200 men in nylon England shirts got reported…

Why was it important to have Trans Pride reported on? Well, as Mhairi Black’s eloquent speech on Thursday went a long way to explaining things (please give it a listen), I’ll just say there are people right now looking to break the T off of LGBT. Why? Because it makes it easier to attack the rest of the community later. To the general public the gay and lesbian society has spent the last 2 decades showing that they are ordinary folks, often a bit boring, so there is no hatred to feed on. Transgender people are still largely misunderstood, and the news blackout, or even worst total lies reported, scares folks.

If these far-right Christian fundamentalists (sorry but that is where the money comes from) win, trans rights will be rolled back, then what…… personally I think Bi rights will be next.

There have been reports this week of biological women being banned from the Olympics because their testosterone levels are considered to too high. Would you agree with banning men whose hormone levels don’t measure up? But in the banning of these women we see the groundwork done by the articles that suggest trans people are a danger in sport.

I am not for one second suggesting just letting all trans people play sport no matter what. I am suggesting we look at the issue with calm, clear heads and facts. I’m suggesting we have national conversations about sports and about bathrooms and we talk about inclusion rather than hatred. I’m suggesting that we talk about the state of trans healthcare, that we talk about saving and protecting children, that we let the public know that trans people face a 3 year wait for a first appointment….

3 Years…. just to have a very basic triage…

I’m suggesting we talk about why trans men are not being given Gender Confirmation Surgery…. at all….

I’m suggesting we talk about the safety of the trans and non-binary community, and of the attacks they receive.

I’m suggesting we, as a society talk.

However, as Thomas Jefferson wrote ‘a well informed electorate is prerequisite to democracy’.

And there is currently no chance that trans people are going to be allowed to speak, while gender critical people are interviewed everywhere.

See the problem?

So we at Medway Pride Radio along with other community stations, podcasts, LGBTQ+ groups, and social media folks are going to do all we can to let you know that we will have a trans rights protest on the 6th August at 1pm at Downing Street.

Things have to change.

Please consider coming along, support your trans brothers & non-binary folk. Be a trans ally, or maybe just turn up, say high and discover we are not the two headed monsters that some say we are.

Medway Pride 2021 Festival

SAVE THE DATE SATURDAY 21st AUGUST

Medway Pride festival #MPFestival2021 on Saturday 21st August is going to be a colourful fun filled event, for all the family to celebrate diversity and support equality, for all communities of Medway. It is in essence a community cohesion event inviting everyone to come together, to breaking down barriers and develop understanding and acceptance of each other. 

This year’s festival at Doust Way will be a family friendly event that will include community stalls from the voluntary community sector to advise about the work they provide. We will also have community liaison team from Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Services along with staff from Kent and Medway Community Health Care NHS Trust to support the community and discuss the services they provide.

The entertainment will commence from 12pm with opening speeches from local dignitaries, and supporters, with Medway Pride Radio Roadshow, and ABBA Chique, Chai Latte, Gary Lucas, Elberace (Gay Elvis), River Medway, Amrick Channa, Dr Beverley Ballcrusher, Kelly Wilde & Sami Brooks with the event closing a 8pm.

In addition to the Medway Pride one day festival on 21st we are working with Gravesham Pride CIC and Partners to make sure we have a safe 8 day festival that commences with Gravesham Pride on Saturday 14th August 2021 followed by a week of events involving local partners and ends with Medway Pride on Saturday 21st August 2021.

Medway Pride paiting by Renee Kathleen

We are planning stage based entertainment from 12.00pm to 8.00pm which will include Local, National & International performances alongside a mixture of community stalls from organisations providing services in Medway and business stalls selling food, drinks and memorabilia which would be situated around the festival ground

Medway Pride CIC is not just about the main Pride event, it is also an organisation which engages with the
community all year round.. With this in mind, we had planned to begin Medway Pride 2021 in February
with an Art exhibition during LGBT History Month with the support of Nucleus Arts however, this had
to be postponed to next year due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions.

Undeterred, we decided to replace this opening event with the launch of Medway Pride Radio (www.medwayprideradio.co.uk) with the support of the INTRA Cultural Consortium as a community asset to promote community cultural activities and all community voluntary support service across Medway. Medway Pride Radio is staffed entirely by volunteers who provide a mixture of music and light entertainment as well as thought provoking and educational material.

So ‘Dont’t Hide Your Pride’

because ‘This is a Festival for Everyone to Enjoy’

for you to ‘Be YOU and Make Some Friends’.

Community groups who wish to take a stall and businesses who wish to rent stalls can use our contacts form. we are planning to have food outlets, bars,drinks, sweets, kids entertainment etc.

To deliver this fantastic celebration of diversity we need to raise funding to cover the costs of #MPFestival20201, Medway Pride festival. It’s not just the festival we are raising funds for as our goals for Medway Pride CIC are to support and improve community services for the LGBTQI+ community.

 We shall be posting further information in the comming weeks and months advising how you can be involved as individual volunteers, you can register an interest via our contact form .

Fun for All

#MPFestival2021 intends to provide entertainment for all the family so everyone from every community can be involved. We will be encouraging local businesses and venues to join the fun, in the run up to, and during the festival. We will also look to colaborate with other intrested parties to provide other events in the run up to the festival.

Any businesses, venues, or other parties who wish to discuss fundraising events can contact us via our contact form. We can help promote your business via our website and social media pages.

Get Involved

How can we help

Medway Pride #MPFestival2021 will need your help and support to deliver the festival. We will be posting further information  advising how and when you can help us.

We are looking to work with local businesses community groups and other organisations, to raise awarness of LGBTQI+ issues and raise funds to support Medway PrideCIC. Their involvement through participation in the Medway Pride event by providing stalls, entertainiment, and through sponsorship donations to our festival fund.

Individuals can support us through sponsorshipdonations to our festival fund and by volunteering to help with organising the parade and events.

In Memory of Pulse

Pulse 5 Years Later

https://everytownsupportfund.org/pulse-5-years-later/

On June 12, the nation will mark five years since the tragedy in Orlando. This serves as a moment to reflect on the progress that has been made since the shooting, pause to honor the lives of the 49 people who were shot and killed and many more forever changed, and recommit to honoring them with action.

A coalition of organizations made up of QLatinx, The LGBT+ Center Orlando, the OnePulse Foundation, Equality Florida, Equality Federation Institute, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is teaming up to elevate events happening locally in Orlando and create opportunities for people to engage nationally in the remembrance. On June 12, the coalition will host a National Discussion on the tragedy at Pulse streaming on Facebook or Twitter at 5:00pm ET followed by a National Moment of Silence at 6:00pm ET.

Pride Blog

IT’S PRIDE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Pride season (for those going ahead) starts here.

The questions I hear most often at this time of year are ‘Do we really need another pride?’ or my favourite ‘When is straight pride?’

I’ll try to explain, so please bear with me.

Looking up Pride in the dictionary….pride is:

  • a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
  • consciousness of one’s own dignity.
  • confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.
  • the best state of something; the prime

Last night I walked into The Ship Inn by myself. It was the first time I had entered a pub alone in 16 years. I bought a drink, had a laugh with the bartender (he’s a keeper!), sat in the beer garden and relaxed in the evening sun.

So why the 16 year break? Well last night I was dressed as me, nothing riotous (except the heels!), The Ship Inn is a safe space, and, just by being there, I expressed all 4 of the dictionary definitions.

I can’t walk into a pub alone in ‘boy mode’. I just can’t, I think everyone is staring at me and I don’t feel safe. Yes, I know how this sounds but it is true.

Having a space in which you can just be, like The Ship Inn, allows you to feel a sense of being, and that fosters a sense of pride. If I was ‘straight, cis etc’, that would be almost any pub, almost any festival, almost any parade… you start to get the idea.

So, it’s not really too much to suggest a pride season is it? But here is the thing, as I sat in the beer garden, I watched straight boys chatting up straight girls, people of unknown sexuality, gender, social orientation, they were all just being themselves, and while a couple were being way too much themselves by 11pm, it was relaxed and fun. Everyone was welcome.

Not all pubs are like this, not all events include all the community… So straight pride happens every damn day, and, hell yes, we need Prides. With the attacks that our community is seeing at the moment I’m going to suggest we need them now more than any time in the last quarter of a century.

So please follow any advice you are given if you are attending a Pride, keep safe and enjoy pride season! We will be blogging the good and the bad about Pride here all summer!

And one more thing, it’s never just the LGBT+ community that has been disrespected, marginalised, treated differently based on an inherent characteristic. There are many people who find themselves feeling like that, and as the straight boys and girls found out at The Ship, it’s a welcoming place where you are automatically considered an ally……. Just like pride.

See you next week…

Shea

Topaz Counselling MPR Trusted Partner

MGSD Centre provides access to our LGBTQI+ counselling service.

The counselling service is provided by Kim Ricketts BACP of Topaz Counselling Service.

www.facebook.com/Topaz.MGSD

Kim is a Trustee of SEGI, and professional counsellor, she has been managing and providing counselling for LGBTQI+ people at MGSD Centre since 2012. Kim has many years experiance working with individuals questioning their Gender or Sexual Identity and those from the LGBTQI+ community who need one to one support to manage issues in their lives.

Kim practices Holistic Counselling which is a process that helps open the door to a fresh beginning.

Counselling is a unique space between client and counsellor, to assist the person to shift out of a problem and stuck place, into moving forward into a place of change, with compassionate and skilled support. There are many different types of therapy, with some focussing on the person’s past (childhood in particular) that certainly has some bearing on the life that follows and is useful, at least as a marker from where a person has come from. Other therapies are more solution focused and others aim to restructure a person’s thinking in order to sequence improved behavioural outcomes. The most effective therapy is the one that makes a difference to the individual and may well prove to be an eclectic mix, such as holistic counselling, that fits the person rather than the other way round.

Good therapy – aims to get under the skin of the person, beneath the conversation of words, and into the body of the person. Looking at the edges of the issue in another light. If you could talk sense into yourself, you would’ve done it already. That is the essence of therapy – to help you shift into a new and different frame of reference and perspective for moving into a change state. It takes energy, honesty and vulnerability to probe the surface and more importantly, to probe below the surface of what’s there to guide you into a new way of being. Holistic Counselling helps set the ship asail.

If you would like to access counselling you can contact Kim on

Phone 07738 308484 or email kim.ricketts@mgsd-centre.org

Hilarys Electrolysis MPR Trusted Partner

Hialry Electrolysis, 

MGSD Centre, 331 High Street, 

Rochester, ME1 1DA

www.hilarys-electrolysis.co.uk

info@hilarys-electrolysis.co.uk  07922 164347

What Makes Us Diffrent

We are an LGBTQIA+ business , We specialise in hair removal for individuals with Gender Incongruence and PCOS. We offer both Private & NHS authorised treatment for any hair / skin type on any external area of the body.

Hilary Cooke – Dip.TGBE. MGBT. Electrologist:

Trained with KD Electrolysis Ltd and qualified as an electrologist in 2012, becoming a full member of the Beauty Guild. Hilary underwent extensive electrolysis treatment to remove unwanted hair over 20 years ago, and can testify that electrolysis is a permanent hair removal procedure.

Her personal experience gives her an incite into how the client feels. She is aware of the issues faced by people with unwanted hair and will help with removal of hair from all areas of the body.

I am happy to provide electrolysis for individuals who need long term treatment to reduce and clear facial hair, especially those with PCOS and transgender people as part of the transition process.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. Thousands of initiatives, big and small, are reported throughout the planet.

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has received official recognition from several States, international institutions such as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.

Although LGBTQIA+ human rights have improved in some countries the equality rights and injustice still exist and there is still imprisonment and death sentences in many countries around the world for being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The TRans & Non-binary community are at the forfront of chalenges to their human & equality rights here in the UK and in the USA, with access to medical treatment being removed or restricted, support and equality rights being challenged in court with the aim of rolling back rights held for over a decade.

We stand with the LGBTQIA+ community in their fight for human and equality rights to bring equity to access services and remove the barriers the community face.

Take a few seconds to say that you care

Today more than ever it is important that “Together, we Resist, Support, and Heal”

MPR This Weeks Blog

DJ Drawing

So I am supposed to be writing this week’s blog…..

DJ desk

I am not doing it, in a doing it kinda way!

I’m listening to the Friday Night Dance Show, making a cup of tea, replying to emails, and trying to buy 50 pairs of knickers with the Medway Pride Radio Logo printed on them (Hey don’t judge it’s for a publicity stunt). What I am not doing is writing a blog.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week next week, I should probably write about that. But I think I am in tip top mental health, so what can I add to the discourse? Maybe I should start with that. My friend Andrew (yes him off the Sunday Jazz show) tells this story of a guy who after being shot in the head ended up with a metal plate in his head. While recovering in hospital, and on a ward full of people with head injuries he had a stunning idea. He told everyone on the ward, and everyone agreed it was the most amazing idea. Then someone for the back of the ward added a simple caveat ‘of course you might want to ask someone who doesn’t have brain damage if it is a good idea’.

Yeah.

It is sort of funny. However, I retell it to make a point, while I think I am in tip top mental health, could I really be sure if I was not?

But read the statistics, people are suffering often in silence. Admitting we have a problem is hard, asking for help takes a lot of bravery. I have another friend who saw combat in Afghanistan in December 2001, he charged in without a thought. It took him four years to ask for help with his mental health.

Maybe because we trivialise it, we don’t even know we do it most of the time, I use words like nuts, fruitcake, headcase all the time. A friend sent me a video yesterday with a message saying ‘heard this thought of you’ it was Sofi Tucker’s track Batshit. I laughed, I think it was because of the shoes in the video, or maybe she thinks I’m nuts (there I go again).

Do we need to moderate our langue? I personally don’t think so. We all have health, the state our body is in, so it seems obvious we all have mental health, the state of our mind.

Statistically, in your circle of friends there is someone right now struggling. Maybe just take that extra minute to ask how folks are, maybe make yourself a little more accessible or even mention your own mental health. Talking about it might allow someone to speak up, and reach out to a friend if you are struggling.

My Messages are always open. I try to reply to all emails and am in the stations chat room when my shows are on……You know where to find me when you are ready to talk.

Right, apparently someone can indeed print me 50 pairs of knickers for a publicity stunt, but they think I might have issues……

MVA – National Volunteers Week 2021

For National Volunteers Week 2021 MVA are inviting all local Volunteers and Voluntary and Community Groups and Organisations to contribute to 

Medway’s Volunteers Giant Jigsaw that will be on public display during Volunteers Week.

We think this is a great way to demonstrate how important and valued each and every one of Medway’s Volunteers and VCS Organisations are.  We would love for you and your Volunteers to take part so I have taken the liberty of sending you all of the attached information below:

Volunteer Giant Jigsaw & Video

  • The Instruction Pack for doing your Jigsaw Piece & Video
  • The Media Release Agreement Form to give us permission to use your items

In the Jigsaw & Video Instruction Pack you will find:

  • Notes on filling in your Jigsaw Piece
  • The Jigsaw Piece templates for you to choose one from
  • Note on doing your Video
  • Contacts & Instruction’s on returning the items back to us

The deadline for all Jigsaw Pieces and short Videos is by 12pm on Wednesday the 19th of May so we can make sure everything we receive back is included in the Giant Jigsaw and our Volunteers Week Video.

Volunteers Week Resource Pack

In the pack you will find:

  • Activity & Event Ideas To Get You Inspired
  • Thanking Your Volunteers
  • Tips On Running Virtual Events
  • Using Social Media To Promote Your Activities
  • Staying Connected
  • Event Promotional Resources
  • Local Press & Local Public Figure Resource
  • Covid Guidance Links

We would really appreciate you sending the Jigsaw & Video information to your Volunteers and for you to encourage them to get involved.  We are looking to support as many Volunteers in Medway to get involved so we can help recognise and celebrate as many as possible.

We would love for you to share your Volunteers Week plans, photos and stories with us.  If you send them to use we would be delighted to share these on or social media platforms for you as well.

Medway Volunteers Giant Jigsaw & Video Guidance Notes

Doing Your Jigsaw Piece


• There are 5 A4 sized jigsaw piece template designs for you to choose one from in this pack.
• When doing your jigsaw piece you must keep within the black jigsaw piece template lines, as everything outside
of the black line will be erased when it goes to print.
• When adding any photos/images it is best to keep them as central as possible, so we can see them better, as the
overall effect of the final design will be of ‘scattered’ jigsaw pieces.
• You can either complete your jigsaw piece by hand or you can do it direct on your computer.
• On the next page we have included a completed jigsaw piece for you as an example.

Sending Your Jigsaw Piece In To Us Is Easy

There are 2 ways that you can send your finished jigsaw piece in to us:
• On email as a JPEG, PNG or PDF file attachment if you have done it on a computer. If you need any advice on how
to do this please contact us on volunteering@mva.org.uk.
• By post if you have done it by hand to MVA, 5a New Road Avenue, Chatham, ME4 6BB. Please make sure that you
send it in an A4 envelope to maintain the integrity of the image.
Deadline
The deadline for ALL jigsaw pieces and videos to be returned to us, to ensure that they go on public display during
Volunteers Week, is by 12pm on Wednesday the 19th of May at the absolute latest. This is so we can meet printing
and media deadlines.

Accessibility

If anyone needs a copy of any of these notes in a different format, such as in large print, please contact us on
volunteering@mva.org.uk.
We want as many Volunteers in Medway as possible to be able to take part so if you are unable to do your own
jigsaw piece or video please get in touch so we can help. If you have any other questions please get in touch
with us on volunteering@mva.org.uk or give us a call on 01634 812 850

Guidance Notes For Your Video
Doing Your Video

• When doing your video please ensure that it is between 15 and 20 second long maximum. We appreciate this is short, however we have a lot of wonderful Volunteers in Medway that will be taking part and all of the video clips will be compiled together into one video.
• You can take the video on your smartphone or on your laptop or PC. If you need any help on how to do this please get in touch on the email below and we can help you.
• Please only include yourself on the video for 2 reasons 1) We want this to be you and 2) When you sign and return the media release agreement form to us this only gives up permission to use your information.
• What we need to hear from you on your video in your 15 seconds:
“Hello, my name is and I am part of Medway’s Volunteer Jigsaw because I volunteer with , which
helps me to _ (e.g. learn new skills, feel more connected to my community, feel good about helping
people)”

Sending Your Video In To Us Is Easy

• Please send your video to us on email using volunteering@mva.org.uk. If you find that the size of your video is to large to send on email please get in touch with us and we can provide help on doing this.
.Remember:
We want as many Volunteers in Medway as possible to be able to take part so if you are unable to do your own jigsaw piece or video please get in touch so we can help. If you have any other questions please get in touch with us on volunteering@mva.org.uk or give us a call on 01634 812 850.

Media Release Agreement Form

On the email sent with these notes you will find attached the Media Release Agreement
Form. This form gives us your permission to use your photos, images and videos for
promotional purposes. Please note we cannot display and use your jigsaw pieces and videos without this form
being completed, signed and returned to us alongside your items. Please contacts us if
you have any questions about this

MPR Inteviews On Shea’s Sunday Sessions

Doing this gig is a privilege and I never forget that, but some weeks it is beyond a privilege. This has been one of those weeks, I got to interview some of my musical heroes, Ryan for the funk band Scary Pockets and Drew and Big Al from The Hot 8 Brass Band. To say I was over excited would be, well an understatement of the highest order.

Chatting to Big Al and Drew we did the whole bonding thing over music, our love of the funk, soul, jazz sound the New Orleans typifies. We laughed at shared experience of when I lived in New York and the weather, and generally got on amazingly well.

So, I asked a difficult question, I knew I was chancing my arm….

‘Derek Chauvin was convicted today; did you want to share your thoughts on what is going on in America?’

I probably should back up and explain:

In 2004, Hot 8 Brass Band Trombone player Joseph Williams was shot dead by police in controversial circumstances. According to a local news source:

According to New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) accounts, officers were stopping 22-year-old trombonist Joe Williams for driving an allegedly stolen vehicle when Williams slammed the white Ford F-150 into reverse, accelerating into an NOPD squad car and officer. His actions, says Deputy Superintendent Marlin Defillo, caused officers to fear for their lives and thus open fire, killing Williams.

The same source reported that several eyewitnesses say that police shot Williams while he was unarmed and his hands were in the air.

So, these guys have, as a band first-hand experience of the issue, before it was a global media issue.

Let’s hear that questions again…..

‘Derek Chauvin was convicted today; did you want to share your thoughts on what is going on in America?’

Immediately there was, despite our bonding, total mistrust in their eyes. What was I after? Was I just about to stitch them up? I’ve had it before in interviews when I have asked difficult questions but never so palpable. I think it was Drew who spoke first, slowly and carefully. I let them speak, I had asked a question and while it was possibly clumsy, I wanted to hear the answer.

As I did not interrupt or tell them they were wrong, or worse still try to tell them that ‘all lives matter’. They warmed back up. They were eloquent, they were genuine, and they taught me.

However, when the interview was over these Grammy nominated guys thanked me for using my voice to stand with them and amplify what needs to be heard. Why? Because as a white person my voice is louder. I am, as you know trans and part of one of the most denigrated groups on the planet.

But to them I am privileged. I know the media want to make it sound like privilege is not an actual thing, but when one minority thanks another for using its voice it makes you think.

Maybe we all carry some privilege, maybe we should embrace it and speak where we can on behalf of voices that don’t carry that far.

We should all value free speech, but remember that if speech is free, listening is even cheaper, and we can all learn from others real life experience.

I want to thank Drew and Big Al for being everything a fan of the Band would want them to be.

Check them out at 9pm on the Sunday Sessions, and don’t forget Ryan from the Scary Pockets will be on the Funk and Soul show at 7pm