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Reflecting on Pride Month

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With Pride Month 2020 having now come to a close, we thought it was important to reflect on it and remember that Pride Month isn’t just about Canal Street, rainbow flags and parades. This year has brought a very different Pride Month with all Pride celebrations coming pretty much to a halt. However, that doesn’t mean that Pride should be forgotten and whilst Pride Festivals are a place of inclusivity and community, it is crucial to remember why they started in the first place.

The month of June was chosen to be Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, which occurred in June 1969, kick-starting the beginning of acceptance and rights for those in the community.

Although we have come a long way with regards to understanding, there is still quite a long way to go…

Today, in 2020, (some 30 years after being gay was declassified as being a ‘disease’) it is still illegal in over 70 countries, in some of which it is a crime punishable by death. Even in the UK it is clear that there is still some way to go, as although there was a small triumph for those in the LGBTQ+ community in 2014 with the legalisation of same sex marriage, gay conversion therapy is still very much legal in the UK today.

It is important for us, as allies and human beings to listen, learn and educate ourselves on the history and the background surrounding Pride and the daily struggles of those in the LGBTQ+ community; after all, as the great philosopher George Santayana said, “those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it”.

Below are some great documentaries that are intended to inform and educate about the LGBTQ+ community and hopefully inspire your inner activist to be an ally and keep fighting towards equality:

State of Pride – This documentary covers the history and meaning of the Pride / LGBTQ+ rights movement.

The Death and Life of Martha P Johnson – Martha P Johnson was an inspirational WOC who was a trans rights activist, a key player in the Stonewall Uprising and a victim of police brutality whose death raised many questions amongst the LGBTQ+ and black community.

Paris Is Burning – An inside view of the drag scene in New York City in the late 1980s.

Kiki – Looking into the competitive dance world that has become a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ youth.

A Secret Love – A nice easy watch centred on two women who kept their relationship secret for five decades and their story of coming out to their families and the struggles they faced.

There are also many LGBTQ+ charities which shouldn’t be forgotten during and after Pride month: Pride celebrations often raise substantial funds for a variety of LGBTQ+ charities who offer support/guidance to those who are most in need.

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