Finding Joy with Herne Bay LGBTQ+ Society

Recently, Herne Bay has seen two major developments with the founding of the Herne Bay LGBTQ+ Society and the arranging of Herne Bay’s first ever Pride.

 

The HB LGBTQ+ Trust was formed in 2021 to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/ Questioning, and Ace people in Herne Bay and the surrounding areas, and Herne Bay’s Pride will be taking place later this year in September. We spoke to Tyler Sam Chitty, founder of the Society, to find out more.

 

What first prompted you to start the Trust?

I started the Society in 2021 after a long battle of health problems where it was apparent that my being a trans man was not an issue around my friends. They helped me to be who I truly was, so between myself and three other people, we started the Society.

 

What does the Society offer Herne Bay’s LGBTQIA+ community?

First and foremost, we offer a safe welcoming space to be who you want to be. We offer support and information, and we signpost to other qualified professionals who can help; we fundraise for the Herne Bay LGBTQ+ Society to help pay for some services that people might not have free access to, we hold regular meetings and support groups and social events.

 

Why are groups like the Society so important?

Groups like ours are so important to the LGBTQ+ community. They offer support, a community with no prejudice, information, a sense of belonging, it educates the larger community, and helps promote acceptance.

 

What are your goals and ambitions for the Society?

The goal for the Society is to have a safe space for all to meet, to have a community of acceptance, freedom to promote and help the LGBTQ+ community in our area, and to educate on matters of mental and physical health issues where the NHS and government are excluding the LGBTQ+ community, especially the trans and non-binary community.

 

Is the Society doing any fundraising? 

Yes, the Society are holding two drag bingo nights a month, and one themed pub quiz a month at the Pier Ceylon in Station Road Herne in Bay. We also hold regular fundraising collections outside of Morrisons and other local business, and there are Pride collection tins within some shops like the Bay Leaf Coffee House, Pier Ceylon, the Green Door Deli, the Wallflower Café, Sonnies, Gardenia Lingerie, and Kavanagh Cinema.

 

What can people do to support the Herne Bay LGBTQ+ Society and the Herne Bay community?

We would like the community to support the Society by helping us fundraise; attend the events we hold at the Pier Ceylon pub and the Bay Leaf coffee shop, and for local business to help us in anyway they can, even if just by putting one of our safe space or LGBTQ+ friendly stickers on display in their business area. Any information needed can be obtained by contacting us on Facebook or emailing us at [email protected].

 

What does Pride mean to you?

Celebrating your unique true self and making a stand on equal rights in solidarity. Love is love. Trans people live and breathe the same air as everyone else and deserve to be treated the same as all genders.

Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and of how far we have all come, but not forgetting those who stood before us or how much farther we still have to go.

 

If you would like to help support Herne Bay’s first Pride, you can donate via their Facebook or Crowdfunding pages:

Herne Bay Pride page on Facebook

Crowdfund page

Facebook fundraising page

They are also looking for volunteers to help out on the day, and for sponsorships from local businesses. For more information, please contact [email protected]

 

Keep up to date with the Herne Bay LGBTQ+ Society via their Facebook page @hblgbtqsociety.

by Alice Smales

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