Russell T. Davies portrayed the Isle of Wight as a remote and old-fashioned community with outdated views and homophobic tendencies in It’s A Sin, the Channel 4 programme set in the late 1980s.

How much has changed? Are we inclusive with everyone we meet or do we still assume that everyone is heterosexual and cis-gendered?

Pride started as a protest and you may remember times when people were bullied, imprisoned and even murdered just for who they loved.

On Saturday, July 16, Ryde hosts Isle of Wight Pride, the fourth event here.

What’s changed since the first in 2017? Pride was discussed in 2016 at a vigil held in Newport for the victims of the Orlando Massacre.

There were some bumps in the road as opinions were expressed that were at odds with those of many Islanders.

The resignation of Andrew Turner MP happened after it was alleged that he described homosexuals as ‘dangerous to society’ during a visit to a local school.

The response was overwhelming, propelling Isle of Wight Pride into the national spotlight.

It is run by energetic volunteers most of whom also have full time jobs.

Isle of Wight Pride is a huge success with rainbow-clad people of all ages celebrating the Island’s rich diversity without prejudice.

It’s always an emotional occasion for many and one that lots thought would never happen here.

A special day but how do our LGBTQ+ community fare the rest of the year?

StoneCrabs’ Out On An Island Project began in 2018 looking back at 100 years of LGBTQ+ history and, like lifting a rock on the beach, had no idea what would be found.

Its exhibition at Carisbrooke Castle Museum highlights 18 recorded real-life stories, a fascinating timeline and portraits of the interviewees alongside interesting memorabilia.

The book shares stories of well-known figures such as Virginia Woolf, Algernon Swinburne and Joe Carstairs but it’s the voices of everyday people that shout the loudest.

It's fair to say that many still struggle with issues around gender and sexuality as more people identify as non-binary.

Never a week goes by without an attack on transgender people in the media from those who should just mind their own business.

There is support here for young people aged 11 to 25 from BreakOut Youth with weekly group sessions and one-to-one support in person and online.

It also offers LGBTQ+ workshops to organisations wanting support with language, pronouns and issues around gender and sexuality.

Social media has a number of LGBTQ+ groups and Out On An Island offers meet ups and free counselling as part of its funded projects.

We can change the perception of the Isle of Wight as outdated but being kind and non-judgmental is an individual’s responsibility.

  • For further information about BreakOut Youth take a look at the website: or email:
  • For Out On An Island, see: or email: