London PRIDE 2021

Natalie Altman

Pride is a term constantly thrown around, but what does it really mean? Unfortunately , many people think that there is no need for + Pride to still be celebrated as, if they and their circle are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, surely everyone is. Wrong! This is far from the case.

Homophobic attacks are on the rise, with an increasing number of youths in the UK being attacked simply because of their sexuality. Home Office figures show that reported LGBTQ+ hate crime has grown at double the rate of other forms of hate crime for the last two years, but even this is only the tip of the iceberg, as most hate crime goes unreported.

This statistic highlights the importance of Pride, and reminds us why, even in the 21st century, it remains a vital celebration to be held. The focus of Pride this year is on visibility, unity, and equality. Members of the LGBTQ+ community need to be seen and heard as well as treated the same as other members of the population. Whilst there have been vast improvements in recent decades regarding the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, until equality is universal, there is always going to be work that has to be done.

Being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or queer does not define someone, it is merely another part of them. Saying this, it is a part of someone that should be celebrated. The LGBTQ+ community has had to fight for decades to get to where they are today, and there is still tremendous work to be done. Same sex sexual activity remains a crime in 70 countries, and in 11 of them, six of which are included in the UN, it is punishable with death. Whilst we are not suggesting we can change this overnight, small steps eventually translate to big ones and it is vital that we remember how hard it still is for large amounts of people all over the world, simply because of their sexuality.

This is why, although London Pride has unfortunately been cancelled this year as a physical event, every day is a day when Pride should be celebrated, and as an agency we are committed to learning more about how we can become a greater ally of the LGBTQ+ community, in turn, ensuring our colleagues feel proud and supported every day.

We will do this through a number of initiatives including a series of training sessions with Mind Out, starting in September that will run throughout the year and educate us all on how to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community.

For those looking to support London Pride this year, here are some of the events still taking place, even though the main parade has been cancelled this year.