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TTA’s David Coupe and Julie Kirkham attended the first ever, inaugural Manchester Pride Conference

Transport Training Academy’s, MD, David Coupe and TTA Instructor, Julie Kirkham, attended the first ever, inaugural Manchester Pride Conference on 26th March 2019.

The conference brought together over 200 people from different organisations across Manchester to discuss the LGBT+ agenda for 2019.

Both David and Julie were particularly interested in gaining more information on the ‘All Equals’ Charter, which has been created to specifically promote LGBT+ inclusion and equality throughout the region.

The event featured three spotlight presentations from prominent LGBT+ figures including Carl Austin-Behan, LGBT adviser to The Mayor of Greater Manchester; Paul Martin, chief executive of LGBT Foundation; and Chloe Cousins from Rainbow Noir.

Peter Tatchell, who has campaigned for LGBT and other human rights for 52 years and spearheaded the successful campaign for same sex marriage, delivered the keynote speech, reflecting on the progress that has been made as well as the work still to be done.

“The Pride flag is one of most recognisable flags in the world today,” he said. “We’ve gone from being one of most backward countries to one of most progressive.

“But we’ve had to fight for it. It’s been a collective effort. We’ve done it together, with our straight friends and allies.”

Peter was optimistic about how things can change, especially through educating younger generations.

“Babies are not born prejudiced,” he said. “That’s learned behaviour. But the good news is, we can see that education works.”

David and Julie attended workshops and discussions on ‘Bringing Women into the Spotlight’, discussing increasing opportunities for women, the challenges women face and their passion for gender equality, ‘Engaging Young LGBT+ People’ and ‘Local Pride Planning’.

David Coupe, said “we both found the day interesting and educational. It was interesting to see barriers that were and are still in place, being systematically removed, through effective campaigning and education”.

Julie Kirkham added “we would also be keen to offer our logistical support using our unit and trailer to organisations wishing to participate in the Pride Parade with a float”.

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