LGBT campaigners and organisations in Scotland are mourning the sudden loss of an outstanding ally this week, Anne Patrizio.
Anne was involved in the development of the Parents Enquiry Scotland organisation from 1989, which offered support and advice for parents of LGBT people right across the country.
Anne was inspired to get involved in LGBT work after her son came out at the age of 23 in the late 1980’s and she, along with her husband Joe, reached out to the Lothian Lesbian & Gay Switchboard for advice and support. That’s where she met Marjorie Cameron who had been supporting parents with questions and concerns for many years.
From there, they organised Parents Enquiry Scotland which offered a helpline service to parents all over Scotland, with links much further across the UK and the world. The service supported thousands of young people and their parents in a time when being LGBT was stigmatised.
The organisation was honoured in 2013 by LGBT Youth Scotland with an Outstanding Achievement Award, and both Anne and her husband Joe were recognised by Equality Network in 2015 with the Friend for Life award at the Scottish LGBTI Awards. Anne also received national commendation for her work, receiving an MBE from the Queen in 2004.
The Equality Network, who organised the Scottish LGBTI Awards in 2015, wrote on social media:
“We are very sad to hear of the sudden passing of our great and dear friend Anne Patrizio. We have a huge sense of gratitude for all Anne has done as a true ally for our LGBTI community. She will be greatly missed by many people, we send our condolences to Joe, her family and friends.”
Tributes were paid by several individuals and organisations on social media, including Parents Enquiry NE based in Newcastle, who posted:
The team at ScotsGay Magazine paid their own tribute to Anne, with a post reading:
Anne and her husband Joe also took part in the campaign for Equal Marriage here in Scotland, appearing in the campaign video in support of the right for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to officially marry the person they love.
Anne will be sadly missed by many but leaves a lasting legacy in our community, with thousands of young people and their parents benefitting from a listening ear or supportive words of advice from the organisation she helped shape.
Our heartfelt condolences go to Anne’s husband Joe and her family and friends at this sad time.