News from New Roads Parents, Worcestershire

New Road Parents Group met on the evening of Shrove Tuesday at our usual venue - a private house in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. We enjoyed pancakes and welcomed two ‘new’ parents – one of whom had contacted me whilst working in the Far East. They had been living out there for several months and their son had come out to them when he visited them a few weeks ago and she was still feeling surprised and raw. She had looked us up on the internet and was surprised to see that our meetings took place only two roads away from their Bromsgrove home! She was back in the UK in time so she bravely came to the LGBT History Month family-friendly event funded by the District Council at the Arts Centre in Bromsgrove on February 6th. So too did the other new parent, who has a gay daughter, so Irene Dudley and I had met them before our meeting of the group. 
On March 4th there were eight of us parents present. We had a guest speaker Matthew Lacey from Worcester Community Housing Trust who had heard me briefly talking about the parents’ support group on Free Radio and had contacted me following this. He spoke about his own journey in coming out and the equality policies that are in place in working environments now. These were not in place when he was first in the navy and then in the police force. He had been made to leave the navy despite a successful career and no wrongdoing, simply because he acknowledged he was gay. It was a most informative and interesting talk from a very personable guy, and we learnt a lot. He also said he had not considered how parents might react, so he was just as interested to learn from us.
The History Month event at the Artrix was well attended and the Wizard of Oz was also shown as a free film. Our New Road Parents stall was one of many in the display to do with equality and diversity, and the police had a stall drawing attention to Hate Crime and how it is tackled. One of our parents had also managed the display stall in Redditch on February 1st – the first time there had been an exhibition presented there in the Library. It included a poster exhibition ‘Living my Life: Celebrating the Lives of Trans People’ which was shown in both towns.  Bromsgrove and Redditch Councils collaborated with LGBT History Month and a glossy leaflet was produced advertising the events and displays in various venues throughout the month. 
New Road Parents meet alternate months with the Birmingham Parents’ Support Group and there is some crossover with members attending both - some who travel from as far as Coventry.
Margaret Evans


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