Queer activists explain why Pride Month is so vital this year: ‘People are fighting for their freedom’

Pentagon bans Confederate and Pride flags from flying at military bases

In June 1970, LGBT+ rights activists marched through New York City for the first time to demand respect and equality.

That decisive moment has gone down in history as the first documented Pride march, and since then, the movement has gone from strength to strength.

Now, the entire month of June is known as Pride Month – and every year, LGBT+ people across the world march in cities, towns and villages in celebration and protest.

But this year is a little different. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most events have been called off – and that’s why PinkNews is taking Pride online with our new four day digital festival, Pride for All in aid of the Kaleidoscope Trust.

Pride is an essential part of who we are – it informs our past and our future. To mark the inaugural PinkNews Pride for All, 10 LGBT+ people tell us why they march – and why Pride still matters in 2020.

LGBT+ people celebrate the richness of being LGBT+ and the need for protest with Pride for All.

Char Bailey, lesbian activist: “People are still fighting for their freedom and Pride needs to stay political. I want every queer person to feel seen and to feel safe.”

Loren Loubser, actor: “I think as Black and Brown queer bodies, we feel pressured and often have to perform our Blackness or perform our queerness. I think we need to just celebrate and have Pride within ourselves for all those baby queers that are looking for versions of themselves.”

Amazin LeThi, Stonewall Ambassador: “Being Asian and LGBTQ, we do face challenges and barriers because of the lack of representation. It’s a time for you to be joyful and celebrate the richness of being LGBTQ. We need to use these very large platforms to change hearts and minds.”

Anick Soni, Intersex activist: “There are so many individuals who live in countries where being LGBTQIA+ is still a crime.”

Kai Mata, musician: “It is an important reminder of the many brave folks in our past who have fought to build the rainbow path we now stand on today. Pride is a visible reminder that we are worthy of living, worthy of loving, and worthy of being loved for who we are.”

Sabah Choudrey, trans activist: “Pride to me is more than just a rainbow sticker on the side of a building, more than glitter in the streets in June for a week. Pride is that feeling that comes from shouting for those who have lost their voice through injustice or heartbreak.”

Tanerélle, musician: “It provides a safe space for queer people to celebrate ourselves and our loved ones without fear of hate, shame or blame.”

Rowan Roman, pansexual activist: “It means that I can wear what I please, do as I please, and be who I please with no apologies.”

Jules Guaitamacchi, non-binary activist: “As a non-binary person who still lacks legal recognition in the United Kingdom, I feel that we’re still at a point where we’re fighting for those rights and fighting for our equality.”

Lev Alexander, head of Media at Bi Pride UK: “This Pride season I want to encourage everyone to be proud of every single gorgeous freckle of their identity to inspire others to be proud of their experiences as well.”