Month of Pride is about freedom and acceptance
Column by King's School student Callum Sutton
This month is the annual month of Pride for LGBTQ+ people across the world.
With Pride marches and celebrations being held globally, in this country especially, it has brought with it the illusive question many people ask. Why is Pride still important?
Pride is a celebration of love, freedom and acceptance. Its purpose is to spread hope, protest injustices and remember the lives of those who have been lost in the fight towards equality. Pride is symbolic of the struggles and accomplishments of those before us who strived to provide a world without discrimination.
However, around the world, people are still killed, jailed and attacked for being who they are. Just last week there was a story of a lesbian couple left heavily bleeding for refusing to kiss in front of a group of men. This happened on a London bus, in the UK, where gay rights are their most liberal. This showcases that even in a country where rights are ‘equal’, legalisation does not mean acceptance.
Gay relationships are still illegal in 72 countries and eight countries implement the death penalty. With this level inequality happening worldwide, Pride is an opportunity to reflect and protest on this, and allow people to achieve the level of equality most enjoy in the UK.
Pride is a fantastic opportunity to show struggling LGBTQ+ people in countries abroad and here in the UK that they are not alone and showcase the continual fight towards equality.
As a 17-year-old boy who has grown up in a small town such as Grantham for the majority of my life, I have experienced my fair share of discrimination. Going to an all-boys school proved the regular challenges you may expect, but I was lucky to have the support of my close friends and entire family when finding myself. I came out at a relatively young age, and I feel as though being given the support and opportunity to do that has made me the strong-willed and free person I am today.
If I had not had the support and love given to me by the people I hold closest, I would still be struggling and suppressing myself today.
So that is the reason why Pride is still important as ever. Pride promotes love, freedom and acceptance for those who are seeking it the most. So be those things, and be Proud.
- LGBTQ+ Helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10-10 Daily)