Standing together


Fran Stulberg, Chair of Riverside’s disability staff group Enable, talks about how her passion for supporting those with disabilities is echoed in her commitment to LGBT equality.

The world we live in today can be a challenging environment for most members of our community and an even bigger challenge for the LGBT community. Can you imagine having to face the threat of being beaten up, ridiculed and rejected every time you go out simply because you want to live your life as free and true to yourself in the same way as everybody else?

Sadly this is a daily occurrence for those couples who choose to love someone of the same sex or those who may be undertaking a transformation in themselves. In public Jane cannot kiss her wife Sally as she leaves for work, John and James can’t hold hands and Peter cannot wear her favourite dress for fear of being humiliated and in some cases threatened and ridiculed by strangers in the street. It is a sad fact that people have to be courageous just to simply live the way they choose.

For all these reasons and more, I choose to be an ally of the LGBT community. As the Chair of a disability staff group, Enable, I recognise and support diversity within our staff and work endlessly to ensure that no-one is made to feel different due to a disability or long-term illness and is given exactly the same respect as able bodied people.  

My support for the LGBT community mirrors the passion I have for embracing the diversity in the Enable staff group. 

Having recently facilitated a joint staff group with my partner staff groups Origin, for BAME staff, and our LGBT staff network Spectrum to an audience of over 100 staff members on how important it is for us all to stand together and support each other, I am now more convinced of the beauty diversity among us can bring to our lives. 

We are Stronger Together!