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Pride: using our collective power to build a more inclusive world

18 Jun 2024 | Dr Charlotte McCarroll (she/her)


More than 50 years have passed since the first Pride march in 1972, but there is still progress to be made. Senior lecturer in Veterinary Sciences and BVLGBT+ President, Dr Charlotte S. McCarroll, writes to urge collective action and embrace diversity within the veterinary profession.

Pride: using our collective power to build a more inclusive world Image

As the days lengthen and the sun creeps in between the seemingly perpetual rainclouds, the drums begin to beat, the horns blow, and the chants of “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’d like to say hello!” echo across the streets of the world. Another June, and another month of action for the LGBTQ+ community - Pride Month.

June was the month of the Stonewall Riots, which began on 28 June 1969. The first Pride march in the UK was in London in 1972, the closest Saturday to the anniversary of that landmark event etched into history. This year, we march in London on 29 June. And despite 55 years and many positive changes, the message still needs to reach more ears.

June is when most think about the LGBTQ+ community. We line the streets and wave the flags and paint rainbows on our faces. But LGBTQ+ people exist all the year. When the paint is washed off, the paper flags recycled, and the billboards pasted over, we haven’t gone anywhere. Our challenges are still there.

When the drumbeats fade, the music stops, and the traffic returns to the streets once filled with chants, remember that message. Pride was not just that moment; it is a movement. A movement for change. It is people that make that change. All people, not just the LGBTQ+ community. And not just the LGBTQ+ cause, but other causes. 

It is for us to use our collective power to build a more inclusive world. Each of us has a role to play, whether that’s through advocating for legislation to safeguard hard-won rights, supporting organisations that provide vital services to communities, or simply being a beacon of acceptance and allyship in our own lives. We should strive for empathy and understanding and recognise that everyone’s journey is unique. Embracing our diversity will help to enrich our communities and profession.

To the members of our profession who may be grappling with their identities or struggling to find acceptance, know that you are not alone, the world is changing, and as you step into your authentic selves, remember that your resilience and authenticity will inspire countless others to do the same. And to those that might question or condemn – open your mind and seek opportunities to grow and understand. We are better together than divided.

BVLGBT+ Society

The British Veterinary LGBT+ society is a group that believes we are better together. Established to fulfil the aim of building a community for LGBTQ+ veterinary professionals and students, the group provides support, friendship, and allyship, whilst campaigning and educating within the profession. Every year, we join the thousands marching at London Pride to make our voices heard. We are also about community and support. Each year we hold our member’s weekend, a safe and supportive place to be yourself. We also attend many of the larger veterinary conferences. Inclusivity is about enabling attendance, so we also support students through our travel grant scheme for attending our events and pride meetings.

This year we will be marching at London Pride on 29 June; meeting at BVA Headquarters before joining in the parade through London, and this year at Nottingham Pride on 27 July. If you’re interested in becoming a member or joining us for either event, please check out our website ( or our social media pages for further information. 


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