1 May 2012
With so many major events happening across the UK, 2012 is shaping up to be a busy year. In the LGBT community, we have a reason to celebrate in particular, as World Pride comes to London this summer.
The Pride movement started in America in the late 1960s, at a time when anti–LGBT feeling was high. Attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were common, police raids on gay bars frequent.
The Stonewall Inn was one of the few bars in New York City that welcomed openly gay customers. It catered to a variety of people but was known to be popular with the poorest and most?marginalised in the LGBT community, including drag queens, members of a newly formed transgender community and homeless young people.
In the early hours of 28 June 1969, a group of customers who had grown angry at the continual police harassment took a stand. A riot broke out. As word spread throughout the city, the customers of the inn were soon joined by hundreds of other gay men and women. Police reinforcements arrived and beat the crowd away, but the next night the crowd returned in even larger numbers, reaching over 1000. For hours, protesters rioted outside the Stonewall Inn until the police sent a riot-control squad to disperse the crowd. As a result of this, activists organised themselves and over the next few months, lesbian and gay groups started to form both in the US and elsewhere – including here in the UK, with our own Gay Liberation Front.
Pride began in New York on the first anniversary of the Stonewall riot and quickly spread to every major American city, as well as to Canada, Australia, and Western Europe. The London Pride parade has run since 1972 with many UK cities following suit. The aim is to campaign, celebrate and promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Throughout the years activists have campaigned to equalise the age of consent, against Section 28, for trans- equality and for equal marriage.
World Pride was established to promote this on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. This year the parade takes place in London on 7 July with TSSA proposing that we celebrate this in the same way as we celebrate all other major events like the World Cup and Olympics.
Spectrum, the self organised group of LGBT members in TSSA, has put together a template letter that has been sent to employers asking them to consider how they will join in to celebrate World Pride. TSSA and Spectrum are coordinating a training event for those interested in campaigning on LGBT issues in the workplace, on the weekend of the parade in Liondon. 7
If you want to be involved and attend the weekend, please contact Kerry Abel (Equalities and Diversity Organiser) on firstname.lastname@example.org or Spectrum on SpectrumLGBT@tssa.org.uk. If you would like posters advertising the event for your workplace please contact us.