In 2020 – 2021, there were 17,135 hate crimes based on sexual orientation in the UK, with a further 2,630 specifically against transgender people. This was a 6.8% rise in LGBTQ+ related hate crime versus the previous year (data from gov.uk).
Whether you are LGBTQ+ or not, you certainly have colleagues, friends and family that are – even if you do not know it. With this year seeing exhausting debate, questioning and attacks around protections and laws banning conversion therapy for all LGBTQ+ people – inclusive of trans people – Pride is as important as ever.
Visibility of LGBTQ+ people in society is a key part of Pride. We come together, come out and shake off shame to show that we are proud of who we are; we are here, strong, and not going anywhere. It is a celebration of our culture: our diversity and individuality, resilience, art, expression, love, and community.
This year sees 53 years since the Stonewall riots in New York. In 1969, LGBTQ+ people had enough of being bullied, disenfranchised, beaten, and harassed. Taking to the streets, a diverse crowd fought back in a way not seen before. So saw the movement build momentum, then reaching across the Atlantic with the first UK Pride founded in London in 1972 – fifty years ago this year.
Since then, we have seen a lot of progress, but also circumstances move backwards. Pride was founded as a protest and has always been an important part in advancing LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the UK.
When transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, queerphobia and bigotry is legitimised, we clearly see emboldening of hatred and severely worrying rises in hate crimes that have been increasing sharply over the last few years.
Please join us – LGBTQ+ member or ally alike - in celebrating, reflecting, and standing up for what we know is right. There is plenty to be gained for all through the progression of LGBTQ+ rights, as we have seen with the introduction of civil partnership for heterosexual people.
Our aim is true equality, for all, regardless of who you are. A beautiful opportunity for us to come together, been seen, and celebrate. To belong. To be respected. To be free to be our true selves, uncompromisingly.
Happy Pride, everyone.
SEO Manager at iProspect UK