Pride in the Lib Dems

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of London Pride and Liberal Democrats were right there marching with all the pride we could muster -both as Liberal Democrats and throughout the parade Liberal Democrats were marching with other groups and organisations from the Armed forces to NHS trusts to Sports Groups. It was amazing to be part of this piece of history with 1.5 million people involved! Thanks to every Lib Dem who came yesterday, whether you were marching with the group or elsewhere or supporting from the crowd – and many thanks to our fabulous GLA Assembly Members – Caroline, Hina and Luisa for sharing the day with us.

Thanks to Luisa, Caroline, Hina and all the other Lib Dems
who helped give us an amazing presence yesterday.

Pride has always meant a lot to me – it’s the first place I felt I could be unashamed of myself when I was 16 and had just come out as bi. I’ve seen some of the best moments of solidarity there – adults taking it upon themselves to hide hateful banners from teenagers going past, cis people passionately defending trans people, thousands of people screaming support for LGBT+ refugee groups to give a very few examples I’ve seen over the years.

My friend Philip was at the very first Pride and it’s always been a privilege to listen to him talk about what he’s seen over the last 50 years – He reminds me how far we’ve come, how much has changed for the better in such a very short span of human history.

Our fabulous group of marchers!

Other things remind me of how much we’ve lost and how far we have to go. The friends and loved ones we’ve lost to AIDS, suicide and the neglect and violence of others who should have been there with us yesterday cheering defiance – I can’t think of a single LGBT+ person I know who doesn’t have that list of people who would still be here if the world hadn’t failed them somehow because they were LGBT+.

I fight for LGBT+ Rights because nobody should have to have that list. Because no young person should have to grow up hearing that who they are is abnormal, we shouldn’t have to fear conversion therapy or the violence of others. We shouldn’t have to worry about medical discrimination or neglect because we’re HIV+ or trans. I joined the Lib Dems because we are the party, more than any other, that has fought for the rights of LGBT+ people to be who we are, love who we want and live our lives to the fullest.

Our fights for the legalisation of homosexuality, against Section 28, for GRA reform, for Same Sex Marriage, against conversion therapy and against the demonisation of trans people represent, to me, the core of the Lib Dems – Equality, Fairness, Dignity and the Rights of the Individual. If we don’t continue to robustly and vocally stand for those things, whether it’s popular or not, then we lose what we are as a party.

So thank you to Everyone who came yesterday, to everyone who keeps fighting for our rights inside and outside the party, to everyone who has supported us over the years. And whether you’ve been out for 50 years, 50 minutes or you’re not out at all LGBT+ Lib Dems will keep working for you, and if you haven’t already why not join us here LGBT+ Liberal Democrats ( (Where you can also donate to our fighting fund to get LGBT+ candidates elected all over the country).

* Charley joined the Lib Dems in 2010, has stood in Local elections in Stoke on Trent and London and was PPC for Eltham in the 2019 General Election and a GLA list candidate in 2021. They have been a Youth Worker, Early Years Teaching Assistant and FE College Governor. They are currently an Emergency Services Worker in London and Chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems.

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