Saturday is London Pride. It'll be 39 this year. Am I going to
go celebrate? I don't think so. Why should I? I've already joined
the homosexual club so to speak. I live every day being one of the
token lesbians at school so being confident in my sexuality is
something that comes up all the time. Do I really have to go and
pick up a sticker for it? It's not like I'll be a 'better' lesbian
if I go on Saturday. I'll probably look like a pre teen who's got
lost and was actually looking for Hamleys anyway. The thing is
though, I can't help feeling guilty for not really wanting to
Pride was essentially a response to the (New York queer bar)
Stonewall riots of 1969 and was created to protest for equal rights
and acceptance. The first gay pride march ever took place on the
first anniversary of the riots in New York, where surprisingly
little resistance occurred. Marches simultaneously took place in LA
and Chicago and then spread into Europe. The first official UK Gay
Pride Rally took place on July 1, 1972. The idea of gay pride was
Of course I'm very lucky. I'm able to be proud of my sexuality
and I've not really ever known anything different. I can wear my
Stonewall charity t-shirt without shame and the homophobia I've
experienced is nothing compared to what other gays and lesbians
have to go through on a day-to-day basis. Pride for us has become a
regular part of the British summer calendar. Many of us probably
wouldn't remember a time before it.
Even if we don't include Africa and the Middle East, many other
countries around the world still object to their LGBT communities
waving rainbow flags publicly and en masse.
Just last week in St Petersburg, Russia, police arrested and
charged 14 LGBT activists. Moscow Pride has been banned again this
year. The authorities obviously don't care that they'll yet again
be breaching the European Court of Human Rights.
It's obviously clear that we have a long way to go. Despite
World Pride being hosted in London next year, we can't escape the
fact that our own government still doesn't permit us to marry in a
place of worship. No country is perfect. None has offered full
equality for us gays.
But back to this year's London Pride. Judging by the images I've
seen of previous London events, I can't deny I'm not more than a
little disappointed. The line-up this year on the main stage is
hardly something to get excited about. It doesn't seem to be that
diverse, and it seems to be a lot of gay men in a tight leopard
print pants. Where are all the ladies?
An answer to this is a Dyke March. San Francisco hosted their
nineteenth one recently and although London doesn't have one yet,
DIVA's heard rumours that a group of lesbians are getting together
next week to discuss plans to make it happen. Would I go?
One vital issue however is that I don't define myself as a dyke.
I'm just as happy wearing a dress as I am in a sweatshirt and baggy
jeans. There are loads and loads of lesbians out there who don't
belong to any particular category. Can they not be proud too?
Ultimately, I find the concept of pride rather confusing and
that's not just because I've never been before. My sexuality is
just a small part of who I am. I'm proud of being me in my
entirety, not just for being gay.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's a flag for that.