Why is pride important?

Happy pride month to the LGBTQ+ community (including all our allies!). Pride month is a celebration, but it is also a protest. This month especially we remember and celebrate the achievements of the brave individuals who spearheaded the LGBTQ+ rights movement. We remember Marsha P Johnson, a black trans activist who was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising; an event that proved fundamental in securing rights for the queer community. Although LGBTQ+ rights have significantly improved since Stonewall, there is still a long road ahead to equality.

Homosexuality is still criminalised in 60 countries, and victims can face capital punishment for being gay in 11. Queer POC, the trans community and disabled members of the LGBTQ+ community are disproportionately more likely to be unsafe due to their sexuality. 2/3 of trans teens report self-harming, and up to 43% of trans individuals have made an attempt on their life (Baeur et al, 2015). Queer POC can face marginalisation in all communities, often experiencing homophobia in their ethnic communities, and racism within the queer community (Balsam et al, 2014). Disabled members of the LGBTQ+ community are often victim to homophobia; for example many are told that their sexual orientation is a phase, which reflects how disabled individuals are considered immature even in adulthood, and are infantilsed. Gender-affirming treatment is also significantly less accessible for queer disabled individuals (Leonard and Mann, 2018).

As an outsider it's easy to assume that equality has been achieved given the number of pride events and representation by large organisations during pride month. This is not the case, however. Queer men in sport are still systematically discriminated against, and WLW are consistently sexualised and invalidated. This year I have personally been victim to two hate crimes - one with Kayleigh, where a man shouted homophobic slurs and disgusting sexual comments at us, and another by a girl around my age who repeatedly screamed the word 'd*ke' at me and physically attacked me. Both of these events took place in Devon, the place I grew up and am supposed to feel safe. Both were entirely unprovoked. I now experience intense anxiety holding Kay's hand in public, which is something I NEVER thought I would experience. I am not an antagonist. I am not just unlucky. This is the reality of being a queer person, even in a 'progressive' country. So, next time somebody asks you why we need pride, or why there isn't a 'straight pride', refer them back to this post - it might just offer a change in perspective.

So yes, pride month is a celebration of the achievements and excellence of the LGBTQ+ community, and it's important that everyone has a good time. That said, it is also a reminder that there is still work to be done. We will not rest until we are equal. Our allies are absolutely fundamental in this effort, as they are able to advocate for our rights in a way that we are not in a position to. So, remember to call out homophobia, transphobia, racism, and ableism to help us achieve a better and more equal future 🖤🤍🤎

Happy pride month folks! Be loud, be proud, stay safe! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

- XO

1 comment

Literally the proudest mumma ever 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

Gill Smith June 11, 2022

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“What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden and it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.”

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