Keir Starmer, Sadiq Khan, Penny Mordaunt and more share their jubilant Pride messages

Keir Starmer Sadiq Khan Penny Mordaunt Pride for All PinkNews

This year’s Pride Month is a little different, to say the least.

Every year in the month of June, LGBT+ people march in cities, towns and villages across the world in an act of defiance and celebration.

Pride represents how far we have come – but it also represents how far we have yet to go.

This year, with Pride events everywhere cancelled due to COVID-19, PinkNews is taking Pride online to help raise funds for the Kaleidoscope Trust.

Our four day Pride for All event will allow you to celebrate, learn and listen to LGBT+ voices from the safety of your own home.

Below, leading political figures in the United Kingdom offer their jubilant Pride messages, reminding us that coronavirus can put a stop to our parades, but it can’t put a stop to our movement.

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party.

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, says that he is “proud to be an ally” to the LGBT+ community – and notes that there is “much more to do” to achieve full equality.

“We must stand against homophobia, transphobia and discrimination wherever it rears its head – and we must help those in the LGBTQ+ communtiy who are most affected by COVID-19, such as those locked down in homes where they may face discrimination, or those with long term health conditions,” he says.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.

“For the last four years, I’ve been honoured to lead the Pride parade through the streets of our capital,” says Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “It’s a shining example of our city at its open and inclusive best and one of the highlights of my year.

“Inevitably though, this year will be a very different Pride. But even though we can’t be in the same location, we can still join together online to stand in celebration and solidarity with our amazing LGBTQ+ community.

“I know these are incredibly challenging times for us all, but we’ve been through testing times before and I’m confident that together, we’ll get through them again.”

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative MP.

Conservative MP and Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt says seeing the prejudice her gay twin brother James faced when he came out in the 1980s inspired her to become an ally.

“I see a direct parallel between what he went through and what the trans community are going through today, which is why I think it is really important that we show our support at every opportunity and why – even though we’re all in lockdown or semi-lockdown – that we still ensure that we’re really celebrating and campaigning on Pride this year,” Mordaunt says.

“Even though we’ve got a lot going on with COVID-19, it’s never been more important that we address and ensure that the LGBT Action Plan is being acted on and actually delivered – that is really critical.”

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney and longtime LGBT+ ally, remembers the “glittering night” that was the 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras, which took place in February just before the world went into coronavirus lockdown.

“As a member of the New South Wales parliament I was the first legislative assembly person to march in Mardi Gras, and that caused a real stir there in the 90s,” Moore reflects.

Clover Moore Sydney

Clover Moore (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty)

“As the city leader now we have been very proud supporters of Mardi Gras, and we were very proud supporters of the marriage equality campaign, and we will proudly welcome you to Sydney in 2023 for World Pride here at Taylor Square in front of our fabulous rainbow crossing.”

Andrew Muir, Alliance Party MLA for North Down.

“Whilst 2020 was meant to mark the historic moment that we held the most amount of Pride festivals across the whole of Northern Ireland – from Enniskillen to Kirkstown, to Derry/Londonderry, Larne, Belfast and Newry – I’m confident that these festivals will occur in the future and that the LGBT+ community will go forward in strength and confidence,” Andrew Muir says.

“Whilst we may not be able to hold physical Pride festivals this year, and we’re moving to virtual formats, the importance of Pride should always be recalled in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and celebrating a society where diversity is embraced as something to be treasured and celebrated.”

Richard Leonard, leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

Richard Leonard describes himself as a proud LGBT+ ally, and says he has many LGBT+ heroes this Pride Month.

“It’s the worker going into a factory every day who is trans – they’re my hero,” he says.

“It’s the pensioner who’s faced discrimination for much of their lives, but are proud to be who they are – they’re my hero. Until we are all equal, none of us is equal, so we will keep up the fight for real equality.”

Michelle O’Neill, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and Vice President of Sinn Féin.

Michelle O’Neill, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and Vice President of Sinn Féin, says there has been significant progress made on LGBT+ rights, but there is more to be done.

“I am committed to be your voice in governemnt to make sure I champion your rights,” she says.

“Equality is a simple thing, but it’s something that is denied to too many people. So in government, I’m going to continue to fight the battle for my LGBT brothers and sisters.”

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

“From everyone in the Liberal Democrats, have a great Pride,” says Willie Renniem leader of the Scottish Lib Dems. “Celebrate it like you’ve never celebrated before, raise money for the Kaleidoscope Trust, do it through Pride for All, and celebrate your rights, our rights, and the rights that are yet to come. Have a great Pride.”