3 Jul 2010

More photos of Gloucester Pride

Well my report on the pride march is here. This post is just an excuse for some more photos - first up the flag flying at Ebley Mill on the day.

Back in 2006 I requested Stroud District Council support the day by flying the flag - along with the county they were one of the first to show support. However this year we didn't get the Rainbow flag on the Sub Rooms - it was also Armed Forces Day and that flag flew all week. There has been some criticism over the Pride Day falling on this event - but forces like the Royal Navy have officially been part of Pride marches certainly in recent years. The Pride march also started with a minute of silence to remember our forces - I fail to see how both can't live happily alongside each other....

Anyway the next set of photos are from Don Forbes who kindly sent me some of the Green Party banner as it moved through the streets. The third photo was just before I realised the Chief Constable was in front of us and then managed to talk to him about 20 mph zones and more. Indeed he seemed not unsympathetic - well at least he did not reject the notion of 20 mph in residential areas like some have done.

Anyway today is Pride London 2010 and they plan to celebrate 40 years since the founding of the Gay Liberation Front. The Gay Liberation Front was born in New York in 1969 following the infamous Stonewall Riots which saw clashes between the police and gay community. It was brought to London in 1970 by Bob Mellors and Aubrey Walters, with founding members including the Green party rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Although it wasn’t the first gay organization in Britain, it is widely regarded as the beginning of the modern movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender freedom and human rights.

Greens will be on that march - speaking ahead of the Pride London parade Jean Lambert Green MEP said: “I am proud to support this important celebration of equality, diversity and freedom for all. It is a great opportunity to showcase the achievements of the LGBT community, while also pay homage to a city which allows you to be whoever it is you want to be, regardless of your sexuality. Of course, events such as Pride London would not be possible if it wasn’t for the courageous, ambitious and revolutionary work of the Gay Liberation Front and other such organisations. And this year we celebrate 40 years since the founding of this ground-breaking organisation and the freedom it has afforded the LGBT community.

“However, we must not be complacent about fighting for equal rights for all. In many countries across Europe people still face discrimination and abuse as a result of their sexual orientation. What we need now is for political leaders at EU and national level to take a firm stance against homophobia and discrimination against LGBT individuals to help create a positive shift in public attitudes and behaviour.”

Indeed it is no time to be complacent - it is a sad fact that in recession prejudice often grows - the Archbishop warned that recession could lead to BNP support growing - but it is not inevitable - see here a view from US.

Indeed I have seen some worrying trends - I remember a survey that shows gay is the most popular insult at school - see useful BBC report here re the history of the word and how the meaning of 'gay' to kids maybe slightly different.....anyhow in Northern Ireland a 2008 survey found that homophobia and racism are on the increase there. Anti-gay prejudice had almost doubled in three years, from 14% of people surveyed admitting they would have a problem with a gay, lesbian or bisexual person to 23% in the 2008 poll. I've already blogged on homophobic bullying - some 65% of gay children experience it.....

Anyone who says we don't need Pride Gloucester is not living in the real world....but hey I'm sounding a bit gloomy - huge progress has been made in last 40 years - a vast vast difference.....but I well remember the poem by Martin Niemoeller, a victim of the Nazis, that no doubt I have had on this blog before...

When the Nazis came for the Communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

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