Do we need a Pride parade?

It’s a tired question I see every year when the rainbows start appearing on twitter and brands start declaring their love for the Pink Pound. Exclamations of “it’s 2019, Love is Love, surely we don’t need to parade about it anymore” or “Why can’t we have a Straight Parade?”

I feel so strongly about these views, that you’ve probably read one of my Twitter rants or previous blog posts (as recently as April), on the subject. If not then sit tight and give this a read and hopefully you will see why firstly we do need Pride and secondly why you need to stop questioning the need for it.

Thanks to those that paved the rainbow path before us, there have been major advancements in working towards equality for the LGBTQ+ communities. But despite the education and knowledge available to all now thanks to the internet, social media, schools and inclusive employers, we have also made major steps backwards.

The rate of LGBT hate crime per capita rose by 144% between 2013-14 and 2017-18. In the most recent year of data, police recorded 11,600 crimes, more than doubling from 4,600 during this period.
Transphobic attacks have soared in recent years, trebling from 550 reports to 1,650 over the period examined. Almost half (46%) of these crimes in 2017-2018 were violent offences, ranging from common assault to grievous bodily harm.

(Marsh, Mohdin and McIntyre, 2019) – Guardian

There doesn’t seem to be a week that passes without a news story about another vicious hate crime, or celebrity attacking the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ+ Headlines about various hatred or violence that I have read, that have appeared in my feed this year:

Hate crime victims ‘stunned’ after police give them a panic alarm

Anti-LGBTQ bullying is the most common form in UK schools

Olympic medallist Sharron Davies faces backlash for saying ‘binary sex matters’

Birmingham police launch hate crime probe after LGBT+ campaigners ‘pelted with eggs’

Mississippi transgender woman shot in suspected hate crime attack

Transgender man assaulted in ‘terrifying’ hate crime in Colorado

Man charged with hate crime for punching lesbian, groping her wife

Non-binary Canadian punched in the face in hate crime

The idea that we all harbour an “agenda” to convert the rest of the world to our way of loving someone of the same sex or to convince youth they must be trans or non-binary is absurd and born purely from ignorance and fear.

We love whom we love, we identify how we wish to identify and we just want to be shown the same level of respect, kindness and love as those that don’t live in fear of violence for those reasons.

Pride is a protest of our presence, it’s a place where the LGBTQ community can stand shoulder to glitter covered shoulder, declaring our desire to be seen and not hidden.

Photos by Josh Wilburne , Tanushree Rao on Unsplash

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