Last weekend, Manchester Pride Festival took place over the bank holiday weekend. Thousands marched in the parade, and the four-day festival concluded with a candlelit vigil to pay tribute and unite against the stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS.
We congratulate our Members Sparkle and Mermaids who were awarded with his year’s Spirit of the Parade Award. The Spirit of Manchester Awards are a series of awards celebrating and highlighting all the excellent work being carried out in Manchester’s voluntary and community sector.
All these events are designed to be both a celebration of our communities, but more importantly a moment for us all to show solidarity in the fight for equality we face as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, queer and intersex communities. We are far from living in a society where every LGB&T person can live free from fear and prejudice, but as the sector’s umbrella body every day we see the amazing sense of community and collective energy we have across a diverse range of LGBT+ organisations in the UK.
Sometimes events happen which attempt to derail the hard work and achievements of the many, over the harmful attitudes of the few. At these moments, we must stand together with other LGB&T organisations and say “we stand with you”. Trans people and communities, and those self-defining in other ways, are an integral and important part of our communities.
Consortium is proud to have a significant part of its membership being trans-led organisations and will continue to do everything it can to strengthen the voice, capacity and ability of those Members to not only have their voices heard but to support them in the action of real change. We categorically condemn the transphobia we have seen. Not just at Pride marches but across the country. It is unacceptable and we have to work together to put a stop to it.
Rest assured that the Consortium team are looking at what else we can do as your umbrella body to help support and strengthen trans organisations. Our Trans Organisations Network will lead this work and has the full support of every staff member and board member.
The challenges our communities face are far from over but we are stronger together. We stand with you all!