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Pride Month, COVID & Autism – an article by OJ Bridges

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So here we are, it is pride month. Pride month is one of the most colourful, vibrant and loving months.

It is colourful because of the flags that express our identity, it is vibrant because of the people who are in the LGBTQ+ community and it is a loving month because of the saying, “love is love.”

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However we aren’t just talking pride month, we are talking Pride month, COVID & Mental health. So as you all know, June, is Pride month and sadly it can’t be celebrated as much as we’d like due to COVID-19.

This would be my second pride month since coming out. Anyway let’s talk COVID-19, sure COVID is making things difficult and effecting our mental health across the world and yes it may seem hard but we are NOT alone!

Just because of COVID, it doesn’t mean we should let it effect this joyous month ahead, we can still do many things to celebrate!! At the start, I wasn’t coping well with COVID and lock-down because everything seemed too much.

The lock-down, social distancing and school work. But now, I am coping and doing some school work so this shows that we will make it through this, every single on of us. Yes, it may take some time to be able to cope and feel ok but it is ok to not feel ok. The main thing to remember is, we will get through this.

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Please see some testimonials below from Phil Barnet our amazing  AKO Compere and Steven Smith our wonderful Patron

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by Phil Barnet

One of my most profound and moving experiences of the last couple of years was meeting OJ!

In front of me I saw a young boy with an open and sunny demeanour which I immediately warmed to!

Little did I know that I was in for an amazing experience from which I would learn so much!

OJ told me that they identified as non-binary and gender neutral. I quickly learnt that I should use “them“ and “they”!

OJ shared all this with me in a non- judgemental, easy to understand way and I marvelled at their maturity as they explained lots of things to me!

I was quite simply blown away and have grown so fond of OJ and know that they are very, very special!

The world needs more wonderful people like OJ !!!

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by Steven Smith

There is such a thing as a  ray of light and it in the human form it comes in the shape  of OJ. Meeting OJ instantly makes you want to smile .

As one of the Patrons of Anna Kennedy online and a volunteer at “Autism’s Got Talent “ it has been a privilege working with many talented and unique individuals.

OJ will for sure will  be one who stands out for the sheer  enthusiasm  and determination to be who they want to be and use their talent to show others it is ok too be who you feel you want to be. 

OJ family love and support is heart-warming and their eyes are  wide open to the issues that could confront OJ in an often-cruel word.

OJ will be someone who I expect big things from and will help others in their journey in the future and OJ  has my support  love and admiration

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