Work still needs to be done in making sure the Pride movement caters for everyone, Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive Ruth Hunt has said.
With the LGBT festival season fully underway, Ms Hunt said it was time for “celebration”, but also a realisation that many groups within the LGBT community feel unable to participate in the events.
“Many people still can’t attend Pride,” Ms Hunt told Stonewall supporters on Thursday in a written email.
“In Britain too many young people still grow up in fear – fear of bullying at school, rejection at home and ostracised in their church, mosque, synagogue or temple. It would be impossible for them to attend a local Pride.
“But when I was 15, knowing that LGBT people were coming together to celebrate who they are was hugely exciting and inspiring. We mustn’t forget how important these events are, not just for those of us who come and celebrate, but for those who can’t attend as well.”
Ms Hunt added: “For those brave enough to join marches and parades barriers and hurdles can still exist. Not all Prides are accessible for disabled LGBT people.
“Black and minority ethnic people can face homophobia and biphobia at home but rejection and racism from our community making Pride feel unsafe. And trans people can still be mocked and shunned because they dare to affirm their true self.”
She concluded: “We’ll be marching in parades right across the country (including UK Black Pride where we’re the proud principal sponsor) and we’d love for you to join us. But let us ensure that the fighting spirit that inspired a movement is not lost until every person can grow up free from fear.
“That is the meaning of Pride. And it is something we can all be proud of.”