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LGBT+ History Month With Tom Morris

February marks LGBT+ History Month in the UK. It was founded in 2005 to Claim our past, celebrate our present and create our future, as for so long LGBT+ history was hidden.

To celebrate this month, we have interviewed our very own Tom Morris, Activity Coordinator at Pennine Mencap, to find out what LGBT+ History Month means to him, and any struggles he has faced.

Tell us about yourself Tom?

Hi, I am one half of the Activity Coordinators at Pennine Mencap. I live in Failsworth with my partner Matty and my cat Vera. Before working at Pennine Mencap, I went to University to Study a Ba Hons in Musical Theatre, and then was an 'Activity and Wellbeing Coordinator for a care group for individuals with complex needs. A lot of my character is rooted in my faith, having grown up as a practising Christian. In my spare time, I am part of an amateur dramatics society in Rochdale. You’ll also find me singing in care homes across Greater Manchester or creating bespoke illustrations for people.


Has people's attitudes to your sexuality ever impacted your professional life?

Professionally, I am very lucky to work in an environment where people are free to express themselves and be who they want to be without any judgment. People can wear what they want, and be what they want as everyone is open to everyone’s differences, however, growing up, school wasn’t easy, people have opinions that they feel they can share that affect how people feel, which then took me a long time to come to terms to who I was and how to fit into this working-class society, without judgement.

What does LGBT+ History Month mean to you?

It is recognition to people who haven’t had it as easy as I have it now. Years ago, being in an openly gay relationship, living together, would have been completely taboo. However now, most people don’t bat an eyelid.

What would you say to younger Tom

I’d say, it really doesn’t matter about anyone else, what they think or what they say. What matters is to do what you enjoy. I didn’t come out until I was 19, which was when I finally realised I wasn’t fussed about what other people thought. By being happy in myself, I gained more friends, more meaningful relationships and finally felt like I was at a place in my life where I could finally accept who I was and be open with myself. It took a little bit longer than other people, but the journey is the same.


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