Well Pride season and the summer is at an end now and we are entering into autumn, shorter days and darker evenings. How was the summer for you? Well weather-wise we have probably had the best summer for a while. This year’s Manchester Pride was awesome and much gratitude and appreciation to all those who made is so.
There have been criticisms of Pride not being what was and having lost its heart somewhere along the way in the search of money and securing its own future. Just before Pride started and on the day of the parade I was thinking about my first gay pride in 1992 and just how different things were back then. (Just 21 years ago!) The police on the parade (in London) really not best pleased to be there, being spat at outside Brixton tube station on the way to the festival part in Brockwell Park. Yet the sense of community and the sense for me as a gay man who at 23 had just come out! The sense of wonder and amazement at just how many of us out there is. At how a diverse a community we are and what a revelation it was.
Now while watching the Parade pass through Manchester and seeing how many people there were participating and watching I felt that essence of Pride is still there, that someone who has just come out or who is in the processing of doing so would perhaps find this a wonder, to be surrounded by so many LGB&T people. To see that there many many others like me out there and the hope that it might give me! Just the sense of that is so empowering for people just out!
Now the close of Pride a message was sent to LGB&T people of Russia, although there are numerous places were being LGB&T is a crime. A message of solidarity and support again the way Prides have always been and now that equality is almost completely achieved here we are turning our focus on our LGB&T brother and sisters elsewhere. That is powerful and it is good, we have achieved rights and now we have a responsibility to support our LGB&T brothers and sisters elsewhere to achieve the rights that we have and not just that, but also to support people here in the UK who are still afraid to come out as LGB&T, who have worries or issues about their sexual orientation or gender identity. October 17th is coming out day, a good day to reflect on our own coming out process and maybe have a think about how we can support others to do the same. Equality isn’t just about getting rights and equal treatment it’s about how we can move on from that and support others who are not as far down the path as us. Pride season maybe over however people are still coming out and coming to terms with who they in terms of being LGB&T.
Best wishes Jakeb