We are very proud to have a number of high profile patrons who help to raise awareness of our work.
CN Lester is an academic, musician and leading UK trans activist. Lester is an educator and consultant to organisations such as Channel 4, the BBC, Huffington Post and to universities and unions across the country. They have written for the Independent, New Statesman and New Internationalist and performed at the Barbican, Tate Modern and South Bank Centre. Lester co-founded the first ever national UK group for young LGBT people. CN was one of our special guests at Totnes Pride 2015 and 2017, where they participated in the panel discussion and delivered an interactive and thought provoking workshop.
CN said: “I’m thrilled to have been asked to become a patron of Proud2Be. Their 2015 Pride was a model of what LGBT+ community events should be – inclusive, intersectional, challenging, supportive and genuinely welcoming. Long may they continue.”
Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts; winner of the National Book Award; and an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, and the arts. In August 2013, Andrew contributed to the Proud2Be campaign with this moving video. The video was the first to include captions in Russian, making it accessible to LGBT people in Russia who are currently being jailed, beaten and terrorized under President Putin’s regime.
Andrew said: “I am proud to be a patron of Proud2Be. The best weapon against prejudice is openness; every person who is open about who he or she is and who he or she loves breaks the collective closet that has for so long immured LGBTQ people. That expands our ability to live our lives fully, to marry whom we wish, and to experience joy.”
Aderonke Apata, feminist and human rights activist, won the Positive Role Model Award for LGBT at The National Diversity Awards 2014. Motivated by her own experiences of having to flee torture and the threat of death for being lesbian in Nigeria, she has proved to be an unstoppable force in fighting for justice for other LGBT refugees seeking asylum in the UK.
Aderonke said: “It gladdens my heart to be asked to become a patron of Proud2Be. I couldn’t have said otherwise given the love, energy and enthusiasm that exude from Jon and other Proud2Be members when we first met at the National Diversity Awards ceremony night! Furthermore, I am delighted to be part of the great work they are doing to raise the profile of LGBTIQ people in Devon.”
Christine Burns MBE is a retired political activist best known for her work with Press for Change. Christine was awarded an MBE in 2005 in recognition of her work. Christine recorded this Proud2Be video and was a guest at Totnes Pride 2014.
Christine said: “I was delighted to receive the invitation to become a patron of Proud2Be. It strikes me as such an important project and I’ve been a supporter all the way. Jae and Max are such committed and energetic drivers and I feel confident they will continue doing good work.”
Peter is a human rights campaigner, best known for his tireless work with LGBT+ social movements. He is the founding director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and co-founder of the direct action group OutRage! Peter has shown unwavering support to the project since its inception in 2011. He has recorded his own Proud2Be video, attended the launch and was guest of honour at Totnes Pride 2013 where he opened the event with a speech and took part in the live panel discussion. More recently Peter returned to Totnes in September 2014 to help lead the first Pride procession in the rural town.
Peter said:“I’m very proud to be a Proud2Be patron. Congratulations on your wonderful work for the LGBT community. Much admiration and appreciation”
If you are a public figure who would like to use your influence to help raise public awareness of Proud2Be, please contact our founders, Jae & Max Price on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the many ways in which you could support our work.