Pride and Progress: What Is The Outside Project?
Meet Liberty’s ally for Pride 2023, the organisation that provides support and shelter to some of the LGBTQ+ community’s most vulnerable
To celebrate Pride Month in true Liberty style, this year our in-house artists have teamed up with world-famous design studio Pentagram to reimagine the iconic rainbow LGBTQ+ flag into a technicolor silk twill scarf, one that fuses our design heritage with our fiercely proud commitment to championing LGBTQ+ rights, visibility and empowerment. Most importantly, this vibrant emblem of Pride 2023 also symbolises our third year in partnership with The Outside Project, the shelter, centre and domestic abuse refuge that provides much-needed safety and support to those within the LGBTQ+ community facing danger, homelessness and discrimination.
Much more than an accessory, by adding this scarf to your basket, you too can become a force for change as all profits will be donated directly to this organisation, helping it to continue supporting those in crisis. To learn more about what The Outside Project is and its meaningful work, we sat down with its director, Carla Ecola.
How does The Outside Project help those within the LGBTQ+ community facing hardship and stigma?
Our focus is on supporting LGBTQ+ people who are more marginalised and at risk of homelessness. We opened the UK’s first LGBTQ+ winter night shelter in 2017 which has now developed into a 24-hour, year-round service. Based in Borough, our LGBTQ+ Centre provides a range of support, social, creative and health services, from advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights to providing responsive housing and spaces. Furthermore, during Covid we opened the UK’s first LGBTQ+ domestic abuse refuge and last winter we supported Switchboard in Brighton to open their first LGBTQ+ winter shelter.
What is the importance of Pride?
The Pride movement led to the liberation and decriminalisation of our community in many countries, but there are still many countries where we are not free.
All profits from Liberty's Pride Scarf are being donated to The Outside Project. How are these donations going to be used to help the LGBTQ+ community?
Donations from Liberty’s Pride Scarf will enable us to support LGBTQ+ Centre members to attend Pride events this summer. Donations also help to cover additional day-to-day costs of the space. For example, travel reimbursement for people to access the LGBTQ+ Centre, toiletries, laundry, emergency clothing and food allowance.
How important is visibility for the LGBTQ+ community?
Hate crime and bullying towards our community can have a lifelong impact on people's lives. Visibility helps us to build confidence and feel safer to live our lives openly.
We have come a long way towards equality but much is still to be done. What steps do you think need to be taken to reach true equality for the LGBTQ+ community?
Working together and using one loud voice to advocate for those most marginalised in our community is vital. Until we have this unity amongst ourselves, we are easier to divide.