Why we all need a bit of Pride this year

I write this on the day that would have been Pride Edinburgh 2020. Last year, tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ Scots and Allies joined in the centre of our capital city for a march through the streets, followed by entertainment and a range of social events. To me, pride is three things; a protest, a celebration and a coming together.

Since I came out over 5 years ago, I have attended every Edinburgh Pride event, each time with a group of individuals, be that my friends, the University LGBT+ group or the Scottish Liberal Democrats. It’s always been a day of great energy and companionship, and a chance to see a lot of friends I may have lost touch with over the years.

In terms of protest, the recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd show how important it is to fight for our rights. The LGBTQ+ community stands with the Black Lives Matter movements, and we have some fights of our own still to fight. In the UK, there have been moves by the Government to reduce the rights of the Trans community, and the Scottish Government’s feet dragging on reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

There is also the continued travesty which is the homophobic and biphobic ‘blood ban’, which prevents many Gay and Bisexual men giving blood. This is a cause which is close to my heart, having grown up going with my mum on her regular blood donation sessions. Due to circumstances outwith my control (namely being single in a pandemic), I will be giving blood In the coming weeks, but I would dearly love to be able to give more regularly without having to resort to forced celibacy.

Pride is also a celebration of how fabulous our community is, how much variety it has and how much LGBTQ+ talent there is. It’s a time when people from all walks of life (and yes, some ‘pinkwashing’ businesses) unite to celebrate our community and be proud of who we are. We are still here, and we’re not going away, and the middle of the pandemic is when some of us need that message most, and the opportunity to socialise in a time when we have never been more collectively alone.

To fill the hole left by the lack of Edinburgh Pride this year, a lot of small online events have been put together to unite our community, and the LGBT+ Lib Dems, in conjunction with Scottish Lib Dem Women have put together a day of online Pride activities on 21st June for everyone to enjoy. We have a virtual rally with speakers, two panel discussions, a pub quiz and a Eurovision watch along. You can sign up to join these event here. 

Come join us for virtual pride to come together as a community of LGBT+ Lib Dems and Allies.

Photo: Lib Dems at Pride Edinburgh 2019. Credit: Stephen Harte.

* Fraser Graham is an Executive member of LGBT+ Lib Dems.

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  • Interesting to read your opinions, Fraser, but what evidence do you have that there is no
    risk to the recipients, particularly those with compromised immune systems such as former transplant patients. Do you think you know better than the NHS… and just as you claim to have rights, don’t you think the recipients of your donation have rights too ?

  • @ Georgina Yes, of course I do, Georgina, and I also confirm that I fully respect Fraser’s right to follow the lifestyle of his choice and preference.

    On the issue he raises I hope that he in turn could accept the rights of all individuals, straight, gay or bi, who are at risk and affected by a compromised immune system. They should have the benefit of every possible precaution for their welfare, in particular the recipients of organ transplants. They are on the shielded list during Covid-19 throughout the U.K.

    I suggest you read the Public Health England (2018) Report (details below) which carries the scientific statistics relating to the issue.

    HIV in the UK 2018 report: Summary, key messages and …assets.publishing.service.gov.uk › attachment_data › file
    PDF Progress towards ending the HIV epidemic in the UK: 2018 report − summary. 2. About Public Health England. Public Health England

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