Green Party LGBTQ spokesperson: I disagree with Pride, but I’ll still be marching

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

There is something ironic about a movement named ‘Pride’ leaving part of its community in the shadows – but this past fortnight we have seen just that.

Controversy erupted over Pride in London’s poster campaign, with anger rising from within community as it seemed the voices of straight people were put over those of the rest of the LGBTIQA+ community Pride is meant to represent.

The posters that caused most offence appeared to depict being gay as a cool social accessory.

This not only undermined the dignity of our community, but the posters also failed in other respects.

Whilst being gay was celebrated with rainbows and big splashy words, bi and trans people appeared to be thrown on as a side note – otherwise disregarded. Not to mention the fact the posters made no mention whatsoever of asexuality, non-binary people, pansexuality, and other aspects of our community.

As a trans woman, and someone who has fought for greater recognition and support for the entire LGBTIQA+, this hurt.

Pride is meant to be ours, a celebration and a safe place – not a source of marginalisation.

Of course, it’s not just the poster campaign. A quick look at Pride’s sponsors shows companies attempting to pinkwash the horrific abuses of LGBTIQA+ people.

For example Virgin Atlantic, a company that the Home Office has used to deport LGBTIQA+ people back to countries where they face discrimination, abuse, torture, imprisonment, or even death.

It is sad that it appears that the organisers of Pride in London have forgotten the roots of the movement; the Stonewall Riots which were stated by Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman of colour.

This is a key historical event that Pride once remembered – the first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London on 1 July 1972, the date chosen because it was the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

So if I disagree with so much about Pride in London, why am I still bothering to go?

Well despite all these things Pride is, and must continue to be, a protest. Let’s make no mistake, LGBTIQA+ rights are under threat.

2017 has already been a scary year for our community. Across the world states are still sanctioning the torture, abuse and murder of LGBTIQA+ people.

In America Donald Trump is removing vital protections, and the UK Government is on the verge of following his lead by threatening to repeal the Human Rights Act.

I will be joining the parade in London to make this message clear; we must fight for the whole community, we must stand up for LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers who are denied safety, we must stand up for intersex people who face unnecessary surgery, we must stand up for trans people who are murdered just for being themselves.

We cannot let big corporations such as Virgin Atlantic think that sticking a rainbow on their logo and coming to Pride makes their actions to harm the LGBTIQA+ community okay.

LGBTIQA+ rights are human rights, and we cannot stop until we have achieved full equality for everyone – what better place to take that protest than Pride.