Pride is a time for celebrating diversity – but have people lost sight of its political purpose?
As 300,000 people gathered across the city of Brighton and Hove for the UK’s biggest Pride weekend, bringing artists such as Kylie Minogue, Grace Jones, Jessie J and Mel C to the city, it’s important to remember in our hazy hungover brains, why Pride is still so important today.
There has been a lot of controversy this year over Pride and what it has become in recent years. Many in the LGBTQ+ community say that the festivities have become commercialised, and often people lose sight of what Pride is, and what it stands for.
It goes without saying that it is an amazing thing that so many high-profile artists are choosing to celebrate, make a statement and take the stage at Pride events across the world, and how many people, regardless of sexuality and gender, come and get involved. However, it is so important to remember why Pride exists, and why it needs to be made accessible for all LGBTQ+ individuals who want to attend and celebrate their Pride. It is so crucial for allies of the community to truly understand the issues that have made Pride so necessary in the first place.
First and foremost, Pride is a protest – and still needs to continue to be. Although the Western world has come leaps and bounds since the Stonewall riots 50 years ago, same-sex marriage is still only legal in 30 countries, homophobic hate crimes in the UK have doubled since 2014, and transphobic hate crimes have risen by a staggering 81% in England, Scotland and Wales. LGBTQ+ people all over the globe still face an amount of adversity that many of us couldn’t comprehend today.
It is paramount for everybody to come together, regardless of identity, to fight for equal rights. It is also equally important for those that are allies of the community, to make space for those that have directly faced the discrimination and hate that makes Pride so necessary in the first place. Pride is absolutely a time to party and to celebrate what makes all of us so unique, but don’t lose sight of why it started in the first place.
Words By Venita Cutler – 06/08/19
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