'Please join in, in celebrating us': Islanders urged to support Pride movement

A man from Guernsey has told ITV News he still sees Pride as a protest movement, and will continue to until the LGBTQ+ community is seen and accepted as equal to everyone else.

As the Channel Islands march for Pride this month, Greg Coburn from Guernsey invites islanders to "join in" celebrating the movement and people.

Greg uses the pronouns 'he' and 'his'. He says he first realised he was gay when he was going through puberty when other people were attracted to members of the opposite sex - and he found out he wasn't.

Greg and his dad. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"It was a bit distressing to feel like I wasn't the norm, I wasn't like everyone else, and it took some time to try and figure out what was going on," he said.

Greg grew up in Glasgow, which he says "is not notorious for being the softest of cities in the UK so it was a bit challenging".

He continued: "I had worries about what my life would look like in the future, whether it was just a phase, a phase that I could get over, or what the next steps would be in my life.

Greg and his mum. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"My dad found some of the committee papers for committee meetings for the LGBT group and asked me what it was all about, so at that point it felt right to just come out and let him know how I was feeling."

It was then that Greg phoned his mum to tell her.

"She said she knew all along, that she's my mum, that mother's know these things and that she loved me.

Greg with his friends. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"So it was all very high drama for about 10 minutes and then it kind of petered off."

Greg says it was a "relief" to come out to his parents and be "so loved and accepted".

"As you get older and you come out your friend groups, you often gravitate towards certain people, people like you, people in your community or people who are accepting, and you know very quickly whether they are or they're not."

Greg at Pride. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Greg says: "Pride means a lot of things to a lot of people. Originally it was a protest movement and I still see it as a protest movement.

"It's also a celebration of our culture, a celebration of who we are and to say to everyone else in the wider community 'please join in, in celebrating us'".

Greg's message to his 16-year-old self is: "It will be fine, you will be fine, you'll be loved and you'll be accepted and have faith in people around you to love and accept who you are.

"You need to have a bit of faith in others as well as dealing with what you're going through."