Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The first first official UK Gay pride rally was held in London on 1 July 1972 (chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969 with approximately 2,000 participants.
Pride in London (formally known as Pride London) is an annual LGBT Pride festival and parade held each summer in London. Pride in London celebrates the diversity of the LGBT (lesbian, gays, bisexual, trans+) community with the colourful Pride in London Parade, as well as the free festivity events that take place in Trafalgar Square. This event brings together thousands of people of all genders, ethnicities, sexualities, and also many people of different races. (Though some have highlighted feelings of exclusion from Pride in the past and events like Black Pride, Trans Pride and many others aim to centre and provide inclusive spaces for communities.)
Pride in London is one of the longest running in the country and normally attracts an estimated one million visitors to the city. There are also Pride parades and events in major cities all over the country and also the world.
A difficult decision was made this year to postpone the Pride in London parade until the summer of 2021. This decision has been made based on the latest advice from the UK Government and prior conversations with the Greater London Authority, Westminster City Council, and agencies involved in the planning of the parade.
We can still celebrate and support London Pride by taking part in virtual events, such as Global Pride, which took place over the weekend. To find out more, visit the Pride in London website.
As a local Labour party our branch is proud to support and celebrate our LGBT+ members and all members of our LGBT+ community, not just during Pride month but throughout the year.
Just as the recent Black Lives Matters movement, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, shine a spotlight on the serious and deep issues of structural racism and injustice, Pride month reminds us both how far the pursuit of LGBT+ equality, has come, that within many of our lifetimes, being gay was a crime and now LGBT+ people can march openly in celebration of who they are- and that we still have far to go & cannot take progress for granted; that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia continue to harm and can destroy lives, here in the UK and around the world.
As we hope to be able and look forward to marching again next year and think of all those harmed during the pandemic, we remember to hope for a better, more equal future and continue to strive to support the journey towards it.
Written by Paul, Penge and Cator branch LGBT+ Officer