Identical twins Jae & Max Price grew up in a rural village in West Midlands, knowing that not only were they different from the majority of their peers, but that their ‘difference’ to many was an unacceptable part of themselves. They were told this by their church, the media, their teachers and by certain members of their family.
These early experiences were detrimental to their sense of well-being. They may not have had the words but from an early age they feared that an unchangeable part of who they were would divide a family and limit their opportunities, both in life and love.
When they first came out as LGBTQIA+ at 19, Jae & Max moved to London and Manchester, respectively, to find people who were like them and a place they could call home. However, those messages from their childhood would often reappear. With time, they both realised that as children they had internalised all those negative messages about what it meant to be LGBTQIA+ and consequently started to believe them.
Inspired by their own experiences of bullying, discrimination and shame- the twins set up Proud2Be in 2011 and have spent the last few years meeting many LGBTQIA+ people who have had or are having similar experiences to the ones they had growing up, living in a world where seemingly the loudest voices tell you that who you are is just not good enough.
Proud2Be exists to ensure that LGBTQIA+ people everywhere know, that no matter what they have been told, they too can be proud to be who they are.
In 2015, Jae & Max Price spoke at the first ever TEDxTotnes. Their talk ‘How Shame Made Us Proud2Be’ was released and chosen by Tedx to be promoted to their 3 million YouTube subscribers.