Okay sit down, because we’re about to spill the tea.
Ahhh Pride – what a wonderful thing. Whilst America have June for their pride month, we Brits have the whole summertime to celebrate just how far we have come for acceptance, and how much further we need to go. And whilst I (your ever humble, favourite lesbian overlord) also like to join in the festivities, I’ve got a bugbear that needs addressing – the shambles that was Manchester Pride. I understand why Ariana Grande in Manchester-based events is important, we all remember the horror of the terrorist attack there, and Grande will always have a place in gay hearts because of it. However, the whole event turned into more of a festival than a Pride, and don’t even get me started on the straight people marketing. In this post we’ll be discussing what Pride should really be about, and how Manchester Pride lost sight of it.
Picture the scene: It’s 1969 (ayyy) New York City baby, and yet again the police are raiding gay clubs, which have become pivotal safe spaces in a bigoted world. As a community, we’ve quite frankly had enough, and on June 28th, the brave people in the Stonewall Inn fight back! This riot sparked a chain reaction of Pride protests, and so began the Gay Revolution!
50 years later, and the political landscape has changed (sorta). Today, 28 countries have same-sex marriage laws (because marriage isn’t just between a man and woman, Linda), same-sex adoption is legal in 27 countries and transgender rights have improved in 22 countries. Things have improved! It’s not all doom and gloom! Yet, we also need to remind everyone that there are countries in the world where LGBT+ aren’t safe – they get arrested, beaten, raped, and killed. Even in the UK, the law is not equal. England, Scotland and Wales all have the adequate LGBT+ rights that every human being deserves, but Northern Ireland doesn’t; whilst there is movement for same-sex marriage there, it hasn’t been approved yet.
So, I know what you’re thinking – what could possibly be wrong with Pride. Well children, if we all saw Pride as a chance to protest against the government, and make them push Northern Ireland to change their shitty ways, and to have a bigger voice in the UN, to provide rescue to persecuted LGBT+ people – then by all means Pride is brilliant. However, it seems that Pride has become a market for ignorant organisations to make a couple of quid. We are NOT a marketable demographic! There was a sharp rise in companies producing Pride merchandise in June, that were not giving back to the community, or even worse, supported people like President Dickhead (I’m not even gonna pretend I’m wrong at this point).
Also, Pride (especially in the UK) has become a day drinking fest, now I’m all for drinking in the day (it’s 5pm somewhere), and it should be a celebration as well as a protest, but people are taking it too far (and by people, I mean straight people). It is important that Pride opens its doors to straight allies that wish to support their nearest and dearest (you are the best straight people), still, there are those who use it to make their social media look “impressive” (no one thinks you’re cute Ellie-Mae). Social media wannabes invading Pride infuriates me , because I can guarantee that they would “have no problem with the gays, but not sure about those trans people”. If you can’t handle all LGBT+ people at a LGBT+ EVENT showing, and respond by mocking them, then please leave stage left pursued by a bear (s/o if you get this joke).
I’m going to get off my soapbox here, but if I have a final message its this: LGBT+ people are stronger than your straight, capitalist bullshit, and we deserved better.
Featured Photo Image 📷: Ana Cruz