Keep up to date with LGBTQ+ related news and updates from Pride at NEXT.

PRIDE 2024
Be You

Our theme for Pride 2024 is Be You. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

We've already got lots of fun and informative plans for Pride this year and we can't wait to share them with you! We wanted to give you a teaser of some the things coming up:

- Physical Pride Month Newsletter 📖
- Be You collection: Pride prints 🎨
- Announcing which pride we're attending as NEXT 😍
- Pride at NEXT day 🥳

More about Be You
At NEXT, we know how important it is for people to not only be themselves at work, but to feel comfortable to do so. 

We know everyone is at their best when they are being themselves. We respect colleagues, managers and everyone we come across. Respect allows for understanding and communication to flourish. There are no egos. Just people. 

Our business is about people and being an employer for everyone in an environment where people feel respected, valued, able to fulfill their potential.

We create a positive working and learning environment, where all employees are valued for their contribution and individuality.

Be You and take it on.

Be You: Paul's story

Paul shares with us his story, as he’s nearly 30 months into his transgender journey!

Paul talks about moving back Down Under, LGBTQ+ legislation and his life in Sheffield.

Paul's story:

Another year has come around and I’m now over 27 months into my transgender adventure! I don’t go in for make up, but I’ve recently started using a little foundation and lip gloss. I also recently got my first ear piercings! Generally, I’ve been taking care of myself much more over the past 2 years!

As some of you may know, I’m Sheffield born, but have spent most of my adult life in New Zealand and Australia. I returned to Sheffield in July 2013 for the sole purpose of taking care of my elderly mum. She said at that time that she only had a few months to live, but over 10 years later I’m still here! Sadly, she passed away last September, at almost 95 years old. I’m now able to return to the place I once called home.

The first 8 years back in England were difficult for me. On the surface, looking at the many videos I posted on Facebook, I put on a cheerful exterior, but deep down I was deeply unhappy and longed to return to New Zealand and Australia. However, since I started my transition, I’ve fallen in love with England, and Sheffield in particular.

So, even though I’m now finally free to return Downunder, I feel some apprehension. I’ve been received extremely well here, and I have plenty of safe places to be who I want to be, and at the University of Sheffield in particular I can fully express myself during my three days a week there! 

Although Australia and New Zealand have excellent LGBTQ+ legislation, the cultures are different from the UK and different from each other. Australia has an attitude of “Fit in or leave”, and Australians tend to speak their mind freely. On the other hand, in New Zealand, diversity is more prominent and is even encouraged, but there is still a colonial “get it done” attitude that can lead to abruptness. 

As in the UK, LGBTQ+ people are spread around in New Zealand and broadly accepted. Even in my rather conservative hometown of Christchurch, I remember seeing people who were “different” walking in the streets, and in one particular pub there was a bartender who was a very “voluptuous” person in a corset and skirt, who also had a male hipster-style haircut and beard, and was full of muscles! In Australia, it’s much more common for LGBTQ+ people to congregate in specific suburbs in major cities. The most well known is the area of Kings Cross and Darlinghurst in Sydney … And of course, the “Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras” is a very famous annual event there, ‘celebrating the entire LGBTQIA+ community with over 100 community events’.

At almost 65 years old, I’m up for retirement soon, and the retirement age in New Zealand is 65 for all citizens! With regards to my move, I’m going to be sensibly cautious … I’m going to maintain a fixed base in Yorkshire and plan to spend the summers here, with the autumns in Japan, and the rest of the year in Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s see what becomes of it! In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you at NEXT Distribution for being such a wonderful work family. I expect to leave the company for the final time in April … And yes, on my final shift I’ll be performing the New Zealand Haka …

Nga mea pai katoa mo te heke mai 

All the best for the future

Paul (He/him)

Visit our Trans Community space for resources.

Terrence Higgins Trust on the Life at NEXT Podcast for LGBT History Month

Cheif Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, Richard Angell, was a guest on the Life at NEXT podcast. For LGBT History Month 2024 we spoke with Richard about THT's goal of ending all new cases of HIV in the UK by 2030. 

Watch now!

Take at a look at our new Community section 

We've been updating the Pride at NEXT site for you, to make it even easier to find all the information and support you need.

As part of that we've refreshed our Community area of our resources. 

Take a look here.

Over £2500 raised for THT over the festive season!

This festive season we raised over £2500 for the Terrence Higgins Trust, our Pride at NEXT partner. With the LOVE Collection bauble being the highiest sold festive charity bauble from the Charity range. Thank you for anyone who bought a bauble! 

Here are some of the most anticipated LGBTQ+ films of 2024!

Watch Fellow Travelers

Watch Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer in Fellow Travelers. The show follows the lives and volatile romance of two men, through purges, wars, protests, and plagues, and love, overcoming obstacles and hatred in the world.
More here.

Take a look at our Trans Policy and Guides

We are at the beginning of our journey to support our Trans employees, and we hope to be able to improve the processes with the help of feedback from our Trans employees.
Click here to view policies and guides

Europe's largest collection of LGBTQ+ literature in Manchester

Manchester independent book store Queer Lit has recently got an upgrade, and is now holds the biggest collection of LGBTQ+ literature in Europe!

Shop Queer Lit online here.

Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa ‘never thought’ he’d land role of the Doctor as a Black man

As the British sci-fi series celebrates its 60th anniversary this November, the flagship BBC show is also marking another major milestone after casting its first queer Black actor to play the Doctor. Find out more here

Sir Ian McKellen on starring in gay love story Frank & Percy

Frank & Percy is the gay love story making waves on the West End stage. Here, its playwright Ben Weatherill and national treasure Sir Ian McKellen talk representation, LGBTQ+ acceptance and the magic of live theatre. Click here for tickets

15% off of Rainbow Charity Laces at Stonewall

For the last ten years Stonewall has been at the forefront of a movement to make sport everybody’s game.

More than one million people have laced up - from England football captains to grassroots participants across the world.

To celebrate ten years of our Rainbow Laces campaign, Stonewall offer you an exclusive 15% off all laces available from the store!

20 years on from Section 28, primary schools must focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion

Just Like Us helps schools to discuss and celebrate diverse families and, in line with the national curriculum, promote equality and tackle bullying and discrimination against all protected characteristics.
Click here to read more

Terrence Higgins Trust:
An Evening of Radio Magic

Andrew Jurd our Pride at NEXT Chair and committee member Charlie Driver attended a star studded fundraising evening celebrating Paul Gambaccini’s 50 year broadcasting career, hosted by our charity partners Terrence Higgins Trust!
Find our more here

Sports fans more welcoming of LGBTQ+ people than ever!

The attitudes of sports fans towards the LGBTQ+ community has changed dramatically, new research by Stonewall shows as it marks ten years of its Rainbow Laces campaign.
Find out more here

Hunter Schafer opens up about bringing trans representation to cinemas

Trans actor Hunter Schafer speaks out about Hollywood’s direction for trans representation and her reaction to landing the role of Tigris Snow in Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

£3955 raised so far for the Terrence Higgins Trust! 

We're proud to announce that the LOVE Collection has raised a whopping £3955 for Terrence Higgins Trust so far in 2023.

Keep shopping the collection so we can raise more money to help end new cases of HIV by 2030! Shop the collection here

Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé out December 1st!

The movie, based on the Renaissance World Tour, which got under way in May