July 31, 2017 at 2:44 PM
Brighton Pride is one of the biggest events in the year to celebrate the wonderful diversity of humankind. How startling, then, that at an event aimed at celebrating the acceptance of people that were previously marginalised and discriminated against, one young resident was the victim of a sickening and traumatic event, just because she is disabled.
Twenty-year-old Charlie has plenty on her plate already, with multiple disabilities, including severe learning difficulties, hypermobility and two rare genetic disorders. After her saddening experience, Charlie’s adoptive mother, Jenny Skelton, who has three adoptive children with special needs, decided to take matters into her own hands. And thus was born the UK’s first Disability Pride event.
The subject of disability discrimination is one that is not often discussed, certainly not as much as those cases of people who face discrimination due to their race, sexuality, gender or age. After Charlie’s experience, Jenny felt that the time was long overdue to ensure all disabilities are acknowledged and accepted and that those with special needs receive the opportunities they deserve and to which they are entitled.
A global phenomenon
Disability Pride is nothing new in other parts of the world, and Jenny has connected with like-minded individuals in Italy, Switzerland and the US. She launched the event on 09 July for an afternoon of fun, arts and entertainment. The date was chosen to coincide with the same event in New York.
Jenny hopes this will prove to be just the start of something special. She said: “As far as we know, there has never been another Disability Pride event in England and we think Brighton is a great place in which to hold the very first one. Of course, it would be wonderful to think that this could happen annually in every city."