As part of Pride Month (1-30 June) Josh Singleton, who is a specialist clinician with the community team at Saint Francis Hospice, tells us why it is important to celebrate the LGBTQ community and why diversity makes the world a better place.
I grew up in New Zealand where I was so loved by my family and I had an incredible childhood. But I lived in a place where being gay was not even an option. It took me a lot of time to accept I could be gay and a valuable member of society.
I can live a life that a gay man could not live 60 years ago. There are some queer people who do not have the freedom to live as themselves so Pride is a way to remember the struggle that has been and look forward to the future that is coming.
Pride gives people from the LGBTQ community an opportunity to make a statement: We are different, we belong, we have always been here and we add so much value and vibrancy to the community and to the world.
Saint Francis Hospice is an incredible place and there is room for everyone. At the Hospice, we always go out of our way to facilitate people’s wishes at end of life. No matter your race, religion, gender identity, it is about respecting people as an individual.
My mum worked on a ward as a hospice nurse so this may be why I’ve always loved palliative care and community care. I didn’t know my dream job existed so I feel honoured to be working at the Hospice as a specialist clinician in the community. The holistic care the Hospice provides means we look after people medically and we are also able to connect with people beyond their health concerns.
I am in a very lucky position being a queer person in palliative care and I get to listen to the stories of older people who are in their 80s and 90s and hear about the struggles they have been through.
When people do not agree with my lifestyle, it doesn’t impact on how I treat them. I am part of an incredibly supportive team who embrace diversity which brings richness, a different perspective and helps us to be more aware of the world around us.
I am also a singer by trade and when I’m not at work I love performing as the drag queen Tyra Missioux. Everyone loves a drag queen and it gives me the chance to challenge gender norms while having fun and looking good. I can be myself and embrace this feminine part of me.