June is Pride Month: a celebration that commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when members of New York’s LGBT+ community fought back against homophobic policing. This historically significant event sparked the international LGBT+ rights movement that has achieved so much over the last 50 years.
Whilst large gatherings are not possible at present, Pride should still be commemorated. LGBT+ people still face discrimination. In the last year, members of UNISON East Midlands have reported experiencing comments within the workplace such as “why do you gay people put it in our faces” and “we had to stop ourselves from laughing [at a trans person]”. Whilst this list goes on, the need for Pride exists.
Trade union principles are those of strength in numbers and solidarity against struggles. In 1984 the ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ campaign was established in solidarity with the miners’ strikes. What was originally the ‘Lesbian and Gay’ movement has been widened to include all sexualities and genders under the ‘LGBT+’ umbrella: we are stronger together.
Recent events in the United States have shone a light on racism faced by Black people; the parallels between the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Stonewall Riots are evident. This year, UNISON East Midlands LGBT+ would like to use Pride Month to express solidarity with the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests seen across the East Midlands, and to reaffirm that Black LGBT+ people also face racism and are underrepresented in our group: we want that to change.
We support the statement of solidarity about the murder of George Floyd by UNISON East Midlands Regional Black Members:
Happy Pride Month! Please support your local East Midlands Pride Event this year (many are being planned online) and join our Facebook Group ‘UNISON East Midlands LGBT+’
This video was recently compiled by LGBT+ East Midlands – why don’t you get involved with the group?