My life changed when I went to my first ever Pride event at the age of 15. It was without a doubt, the moment in my life where I realised I’m not “different” or the only one. It was the first moment in my life where I felt so utterly proud of who I was and the community I'm part of which was life-changing for me.
What I love about Pride is that it’s all about celebrating diversity and encouraging people to be as colourful as they want. You don’t have to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community in order to love Pride because it’s about being inclusive of everyone and celebrating love which is life’s most beautiful gift. Love is the same regardless of gender, sexuality, age, race or spoken language!
I’m incredibly grateful to be a gay woman who has been very fortunate to have come out to a very supportive and loving group of family and friends but I know too well that this isn’t always the case for everyone. Reflecting on this, I felt passionate about giving something back to the community and helping in some way.
I contacted Portsmouth Pride in 2018 to see if I could help in any way. As a photographer, my photography services were the most valuable thing I had to offer and I became their Official Photographer. I attend and photograph almost every event and fundraiser they hold to provide images which help promote and raise awareness of the valuable services and events offered by Portsmouth Pride. This then hopefully means more people know about and have access to these.
Over the past 2 years as Portsmouth Pride's Offical Photographer, I’ve donated over 80 hours of photography, photographed more than 20 fundraisers and events and delivered over 3,000 photos. It’s been an awesome journey, meeting so many amazing, colourful, beautiful people and it's an honour to work with this amazing charity and to see what a difference they’re making in my home town.
MY OWN UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL!
Portsmouth Pride also became an unexpected backdrop for my very own love story!
In 2018 I took my now fiancé Georgia along with me to help carry equipment etc. whilst I photographed the Portsmouth Pride main day event at Portsmouth Band Stand (one of the many reasons I love her).
I’d been thinking about proposing to her for at least a year but couldn’t find the perfect way to do it. I’d considered what felt like every proposal idea - taking her to Paris or somewhere else equally beautiful or in front of our families at a lovely meal but none of those was quite right for her so I forgot all about it.
The day itself was really emotional for us. We were both shedding tears most of the day, completely overwhelmed with happiness from seeing so many different groups of people coming together to celebrate diversity and acceptance. It was all the more special as it was in my home town. We stood on one of the hills to see the parade arrive at the Band Stand, which is where the event itself would take place, and just squeezed each other's hands, bursting with pride at how many people there were.
Surrounded by all this love, I realised halfway through the day that THIS was the perfect place for me to propose which took even me by surprise! I’m absolutely not the kind of person who wants to get on stage in front of anyone, let alone thousands of people! Halfway through the day, we found out there was a group of right-wing anti-LGBT protestors nearby who were protesting against Portsmouth Pride taking place which gave me the last bit of encouragement I needed - I believe in fighting hate with love!
I went with my gut and spoke with Kim (the amazing stage manager) to secretly arrange everything, frantically called some of our family and friends to get there and came up with a speech, all whilst pretending everything was perfectly fine to Georgia who was unfortunately next to me for every second. I managed to cover the complete nervous breakdown I was having inside by saying I’d been asked to speak on stage as Goble Photography and was a little nervous. A couple of hours later and we were both standing on stage in front of thousands of people when I proposed to Georgia. I’m very happy to say she said YES and we’re now busy planning our very own wedding!