Are Pride's doing enough ?


PRIDE is a yearly celebration of the LGBT community - and all around the country there will be scores of small town Prides and thousands will celebrate, get pissed, find a shag, enjoy some drag and other entertainment, will dress up and party and have a good time.
Most Pride's will have a theme and many will spend a great deal of time on their costume, planning and looking forward to a day that is all about being LGBT.
It is a day when many scream to the rest of the world that we are here and we are not going away and as fearful as you may be, WE ARE PROUD TO BE LGBT.
ABSOLUTELY CORRECT - SPOT ON and top marks to all those who donate so much of their time and effort in putting these Pride's on as I appreciate the workload, the passion and the dedication offered by the few for the many which often goes completely overlooked.
BUT: Has Pride lost its way ?

Is it in any way reminding people that there are still scores of countries where being LGBT is illegal and millions live with the fear of persecution and even death, - while we party.

Poland and Hungary have backtracked their LGBT laws since joining the EU and this is very much against the EU rules, but still it has happened and continues to happen and being LGBT is a fearful thought for many.


Russia is the same and I shall not go into details of the many countries that execute gay men just for being gay - and we party.

Same thing is happening to lesbians and trans. Abuse, beatings and even murder is common - sadly - and just for being who you were born to be seems not good enough for some and eradicating seems the way forward - and we party.

This is especially true in the USA where trans rights are being eroded by the state and more beatings and murders are common place and all out of fear based ignorance.


That's not to say we shouldn't party and celebrate,- but we need to spend a time, a moment , in thought and contemplation of the many who are not as lucky as we are in the UK.


Back in the 1970's we were fighting for our rights and I personally had friends who were beaten - and one beaten to death - by teenagers in a park - just because he was gay ( and cruising ) and being kicked to death by 13 year old kids whose ignorance came from their parents and the society we lived in back then that was a lot less understanding than today, and the only way forward has got to be through education - education - education.


AND NOT RELIGIOUS CLAP TRAP.


It has also got to be done through setting an example where those who have no connection or education of the LGBT world except what they read in the SUN or see on telly, and if we set a bad example, these people will get the wrong impression.


After I was on the TV programme ' 3 IN A BED' - I had THOUSANDS of e mails and phone calls from the straight world as well as from within the gay world congratulating for setting a good example. At the time the Chair Person of the THT phoned and congratulated me - saying that I had set a very good example for people to see when dealing with a homophobic man in the programme. She said I had raised the flag for the LGBT world - had said all the things that needed saying but that many did not have the words, or the opportunity, or the guts and I had, and I had grabbed that opportunity and spoken up against the bigotry being thrown at me, and how it had made her laugh and cry at the same time and how she had punched the air and cheered me on - and my answer was that I am just a goby queen who does not stand for that sort of thing.


A few months later I received a call from a gay couple saying they were going to be on the programme and how did it go for me ... and I did warn them to set a good example as many will be watching and who need to learn - need to see - we are not all perverts and bitchy screamers and that we are just like them in many ways - normal human beings.

Sadly, they put on a shameful display and did us no good at all and we all know those who move us forward as we all know some who do us no good at all, and sadly this couple were an absolute embarrassment to the LGBT world and I cringed while watching them. The gay world is often its own worst enemy and shoots itself in the foot so often. Look at how many hate Peter Tatchell, the man who has done more for gay rights than anyone else alive... and yet many within the LGBT world cannot stand the man and why - because he tells it as it is - and many are ashamed of their lack of support - they just want to party and shag.


How vacuous - how shallow - how empty.


It is hoped that at all the Prides up and down the country - a moment will be spent in silent contemplation for those who are beaten, abused, tortured and even murdered just for being LGBT and we all need to take a moment and think - ' Are we doing enough for others less fortunate than ourselves ? Is there more we could be doing instead of - just partying ?'


John Bellamy


Your comments are always invited.



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