Pride has been a good weekend. I got to march in the parade under Peter Tatchell’s community entry.
I do think a lot of the gay community have forgot what it used to be like to be gay and what pride is suppose to be about. 10 Years ago there were no gay people in the media and we had significantly less rights. Less rights included Section 28 being law, sexual consent age 18 and no rights to marry (no society recognition of our relationships therefore meaning no legal recognition of our relationships). We also had label of HIV being a gay disease and lost many of our friends to this hidden disease.
And as if this wasn’t enough there was a lack of tolerence and respect for diversity. It was a hetrosexual world with many gay, lesbian and bisexual people experiencing homophobia and sometimes even hate crimes. We often felt isolated and those who were brave enough to come out of their closet were often made homeless. There was one gay pub now on Manchester’s highly populated gay village (the New Union), it required a secret knock to gain entry and was regularly raided by the police.
We have come along way, but are still fighting for true equality and to change some people’s values. Some people still believe it’s a “choice” and that according to their religion or moral values it’s “wrong” or “unnatural” (god I hate that phrase – homosexuality has been seen in almost every animal species, so how can it be unnatural?). There are even people who turn their views in to physical violence towards homosexuals.
Yes pride is a celebration of how far we’ve come (and gays know how to throw a party!), but we must not forget that we still have to keep the aim of true equality.