Why we still need pride

Pride

Why we still need pride

Our writer’s corner is a mix of funny and insightful notes from our writing team. And, every now and then, we like to get a bit serious. Here to talk about an issue close to many people’s hearts here at Coster Content, Nike talks us through the need for LGBT+ pride in the 21st century.

Recently, Facebook introduced a new feature where you can track your screen time seeing exactly how many hours per day or week you spend using the app. I have to say, this feels like a personal attack, even if I do spend more time on there than I should. Most of it is in the comment section of posts, hearing people’s views on various topics. 

On one recent lazy perusal, I came across a post in a tag group where someone said, ‘There is no need for pride parades anymore. LGBT people have equal rights. It’s just a party celebrating the fact they’re gay now, but if I had a straight pride parade, they would drag me’. What’s worse is people agreed with this statement. I won’t write on here what I wrote back to them, because what happens in tag groups stays in tag groups, but I will say this: LGBT+ pride is still important - here’s why. 

Equal rights don’t mean equality

You need only look in the news - or even at some simple statistics - to see that equal rights, on paper, don’t always play out in reality.

The LGBT+ community has equal rights, finally. But this simple signing of laws doesn’t represent what it’s like to live as an LGBT+ person. The everyday experience often includes a sprinkle of feeling scared to hold your SO’s hand in public, kiss them goodbye, or dress a certain way for fear of being attacked. A dash of bullying, and subtle hints of being unable to tell your parents who you love because you’re scared they’ll kick you out. It’s a recipe for disaster.

In May, on a London night bus, a gang of young men brutally attacked and robbed two women who were dating because they refused to kiss for the group’s entertainment. People who are LGBT+ comprise 4.1% of the population aged 16 to 24. Yet, they make up almost a quarter of all homeless youth, with around a third of them attributing this to their sexuality as they’re disowned by friends and family. 

LGBT+ youth are four times more likely to self-harm and three times more likely to commit suicide (rising to six times for transgender people). One in five get anxiety, more than three times the proportion of the general population. They’re at greater risk of hate crimes, score lower on quality of life metrics, and avoid healthcare due to discrimination.

This isn’t equality. And this is what we’re still fighting for through pride events, charities, and by trying to change attitudes towards LGBT+ people. 

The world doesn’t revolve around us

Despite what we might think when we look at the news or view our perfectly-tailored-to-us timelines, the UK, EU, and USA aren’t the only countries in the world. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true. There are 70 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal. Nine of those (Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen) punish it with death. 

In Russia, where anti-gay laws and gay hatred are commonplace, LGBT+ people are being detained in what some are describing as ‘gay concentration camps’. Two people are suspected dead as a result of torture. In July 2019, someone murdered Russian LGBT+ activist, Yelena Grigoryeva, after her name appeared on a website which encourages people to ‘hunt’ LGBT+ people. Conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific belief that you can use therapy to turn someone straight, is still legal in the UK, USA, and other countries, despite it being unfounded and causing vast damage to LGBT+ people’s emotional and psychological health. 

So, when we gather at pride, covered in glitter, blasting Ariana Grande and Cher, don’t mistake it for just a party. It’s a fight, and this is what it’s for. Attitudes in the UK are changing. Living life as an LGBT+ person is more accepted than ever and many of us can lead happy, prosperous lives. But too many of us can’t. 

Pride is a day where we can surround ourselves with people like us, where we don’t feel like the odd one out or scared. It’s about awareness and giving hope to those who can’t be open as much as it’s about fun. And, it’s about supporting LGBT+ people and showing them there are places they can turn, not only in the UK, but countries where coming out literally means putting your life on the line.

If you want to know more about LGBT+ challenges, there are plenty of charities and organisations who publish helpful, interesting content for their readers as a part of their plan to help LGBT+ people across the UK. If you’re a business or charity wanting to make a big impact on your audience, get in touch with Coster Content on 0161 413 8418. Our content writing and consultancy services help your business reach and impact more people effectively with the written word.

Alia CosterComment