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Network Rail celebrates LGBT Pride Month

We’re marking LGBT Pride Month in style this year, with a host of activities including a brand new flagship film.

The thought-provoking film – entitled Do I Offend You? – celebrates the contributions of seven LGBT+ employees to the rail industry.

Do I offend you?

The film is designed to show what Pride means to our employees, and stresses how important it is that they are their whole selves at work as part of the Railway Family.

It also recognises the history of Pride and the lived experiences of LGBT+ colleagues.

A packed schedule

It’s a curtain raiser for a packed schedule of events and celebrations throughout LGBT Pride Month 2021.

We’re hosting our second annual Pride Fest event across two weeks in June, following the success of the inaugural event last year. 

Rail industry presents: Pride festival will run from 14 to 25 June, bringing employees from across the rail sector together, generating discussion around LGBT+ issues and driving progress around inclusion to make the railway a more welcoming place for all passengers and staff.

The festival – led by Network Rail’s Archway employee network – will feature a series of events, including panel debates, a guest appearance from LGBT+ activist Peter Tatchell, and drag queen bingo. All events will be held virtually and are free to attend for anyone in the rail industry.

The number of organisations participating has almost doubled from last year’s event, with Great Western Railway, Abellio Group and Transport for London among the 32 companies taking part this time around.

Network Rail colleagues attend Birmingham Pride
Network Rail colleagues enjoying Pride in Birmingham in 2019

The festival is fundraising for, and raising awareness of the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) – the UK’s leading HIV and AIDS charity.

(To donate £5 to the Terrence Higgins Trust, people can text RAILPRIDEFEST to 70085)

Shane Andrews MBE, who leads Network Rail’s Archway employee network, said: “Our Archway employee network is always thinking of ways we can mark LGBT Pride Month, and this year is definitely our busiest yet.

“With over 1,000 members across the rail industry, Archway plays a vital role in promoting diversity, inclusion and equality. This year’s festival will be another opportunity for us to come together and influence positive change for the LGBT+ community.”

Harry Levey, an internal communications manager at Network Rail who is organising Pride Fest, and who appears in the film, said: “I wanted to be involved in the video as it’s so important that we show visibility and show others that they should be proud of who they are.

“Network Rail is an amazing place to work if you’re LGBT+, and Archway has played a massive role in making that happen. I’m proud that we’re leading the way in bringing the rail industry together by organising Rail Pride Fest to make it a more inclusive place for colleagues and passengers.” Network Rail would like to thank Lisa Power MBE and the Peter Tatchell Foundation for their help in sourcing the material for the opening section of the Do I Offend You? video.

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