This Pride season, Forward, your local LGBTQIA+ support hub in Stockport is acting. We are taking action by asking you to stand with us and ask your local MP to ensure that they put “Rights before Rainbows”. We are taking this stance because many organisations seem to think that changing their company logo to a rainbow is a fun thing to do during Pride month, but ask yourself: Do those companies really understand the meaning behind the rainbow? Do they really understand the meaning behind the Stonewall riots and the story of Marsha P. Johnson in 1969? Do they really promote equality and engage with the Equality Act 2010 or are they merely hopping on the bandwagon and donning the rainbow just because it’s the done thing these days? We’re asking you to consider that while rainbows are wonderful, it’s important that we remember the history behind it all.
Pride is a protest, not just a celebration of love, sexuality and gender diversity. Yes, things have changed since 1969 and yet, we still have Pride. Why is that? It’s because while things have improved to some extent, we know that they can and should be much better. People of the LGBTQIA+ community still face discrimination daily; we are still marginalised and often segregated. Some are still frightened to stand up and be counted for the fear that they will face prejudice and discrimination, as well as rejection and humiliation from those they love.
So, until such a time that the world stops making people feel unsafe just for being who they are; we will continue to have Pride, we will continue to fight for our rights, we will continue to exist and we will thrive!
This Pride season we urge you to stand and act with us. You can do so by supporting the organisations and campaigns listed below and while we ALL love a good rainbow, please educate yourselves and remember the reason for the rainbow in the first place. It was a symbol of hope against hate, it was a badge of courage and identity and even currently, LGBTQIA+ identities are still being threatened, and for what? Simply for existing, for loving who we love, for standing out and being true to ourselves.
It’s easy to not see the atrocities when they are not happening to you, but it does not mean they are not happening at all. We therefore encourage you to stand with us in our fight, as either a member of our community or as a wonderful ally.
In solidarity this Pride and always,
Tina & all of us at Forward
What can organisations and individuals do to show solidarity with and support for our community?
- Campaign against the decision to award charity status to the LGB Alliance – here. LGB Alliance are a hate group who seek to further marginalise trans and queer people by dividing our community. They have been implicit in stoking the anti-trans rhetoric in the media.
- Add your voice to the #InWithTheBins campaign on Twitter – This is a campaign started by Quinn Brown highlighting the fact that there are trans men and non-binary people who menstruate/bleed and therefore, it’s vital that bins be placed in all bathrooms. Further to this, make your bathrooms gender neutral.
- Banning conversion therapy – here. Conversion Therapy is still a thing here in the UK and we encourage you to raise your voice and stand against the atrocity that it is.
- Learn about the reality of the trans community – here. Ever had your gender identity questioned? No? It is not something many think about, and yet on a daily basis there are thousands of individuals who are questioned, doubted and disbelieved regarding their own gender identity.
- Engage with Stonewall and their Diversity Champions Programme – here. Do you have questions, are you curious or just genuinely un- sure what it’s all about? Educate yourself today, step up and support diversity in your workplace. All voices matter.
Share social media posts and stories of awesome LGBTQIA+ folk e.g.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah @MsLadyPhyll
Hannah & Jake Graf @hannahw253 @JakeGraf1
Hafsa Qureshi @MsHafsaQureshi
Michael Cashman @mcashmanCBE
Christine Burns @christineburns
Please complete the following form to let us know what steps you have taken to show your allyship: https://form.jotform.com/211653701770047