We’re proud but we’ve still got way to go

August brought the annual Leeds Pride event to our wonderful home city. The parade was the event’s biggest ever with 120 floats taking to the streets and an estimated 40,000 people in attendance. Leeds has never been prouder to support the LGBTQ+ community.

The organisers describe the event as, *“Yorkshire’s biggest celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans life”. With this sort of turn out and support in so many cities all over the country never mind the world, one of the most interesting questions I heard on the day was, ‘why do we still need to do this, we’re all cool with it?’. All I can say is ignorance results in complacency and complacency results in regression.

Same sex relationships are illegal in 72 countries and 8 of those punish anyone caught with death. In a world where this is still a reality and in the UK alone, **62 per cent of LGBTQ+ graduates who are already out to friends and family go back into the closet once they enter the job market. Stigma and intolerance are alive and well, whether we want to admit it or not.

So you see, we will still keep celebrating Pride. On the day when the LGBTQ+ community the world over have true equal rights and are accepted rather than tolerated. That’s when we’ll truly celebrate but also wonder why it took so long…

References:

*http://www.leedspride.com/

**http://bit.ly/2KODAx8

Image credit: http://bit.ly/2M8E9HD