2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the first UK-based Pride march.

During that time, there has been incredible progress made in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

But we must acknowledge that progress is not permanent and there is still a way to go until every LGBTQ+ person is protected, celebrated and free to be who they are. If we don't pull together as a community and speak with one voice, we risk losing everything that we have gained, which is why we are Queer to Stay.

Even in this day and age, we know that LGBTQ+ young people are more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ peers to experience homelessness and mental health issues. As well as this, findings from a recent Youth Chances report revealed that:

  • 52% of LGBTQ+ people reported self-harming (compared to 35% of non-LGBTQ+ people)
  • 44% of the LGBTQ+ people reported suicidal thoughts (compared to 26% of non-LGBTQ+ people)

These are just a couple of reasons why Pride is still needed, as well as the support services provided by akt.

In the last year, we made sure that 737 LGBTQ+ young people were supported to find safe accommodation and start building a brighter future. We delivered 6,957 housing support sessions and 1,202 mental health interventions (including referrals), and have seen an increase in need for financial support - which we expect to increase over the next 12 months due to the cost of living crisis - making it our second biggest area of need after housing.

We also helped to secure long-term housing for 116 young people through our incredible Rainbow Starter Pack programme.

Building a sense of inclusion, safety and a supportive community is so important to LGBTQ+ young people, who can otherwise feel alienated by friends and family, even in the most privileged of environments. 

You could be at the very heart of our ability to support LGBTQ+ young people and ensure we can continue to provide vital services. To bring our work to life, we invited some supporters to share with us why they support akt and why they believe Pride is still needed, in 2022.

Like them, we are sure that you believe no one should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are.

Please help us make sure that we can be there for all LGBTQ+ young people who need us by supporting our appeal today and showing your solidarity.

Thank you.

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