Do we still need PRIDE? In short - YES!

Do we still need PRIDE? In short - YES!

June 13, 2019

 

 

 

As we head into another Pride Month I once again see comments online asking why there isn’t a ‘Straight Pride’ or questioning the point of it anymore - we have marriage equality after all! When I consider the question of if we still need Pride, I think of a recent experience I had...

 

I was sitting in a room with the Managing Director of a major organisation in Wales, (not UpRising!), who said he can’t understand why they would be linking education activity with LGBT+ History Month or Pride Month because he wouldn’t want his children involved or “exposed to it”. In this moment, I understood why these type of diversity and inclusion months are so vital and how much more progress still needs to be made. It was the first time that as a gay woman I felt truly upset and outraged that someone could say these things knowing that there were gay people in the room. To make it worse he is someone in a position of power - he should be setting an example for others. I have been very fortunate that as I’ve only experienced a handful of small and insignificant experiences of homophobia in my own life, I was so shocked in that moment, that I didn’t know how to respond. I couldn’t believe that kind of attitude was coming from the top. This and so many other examples are why we need the leaders of tomorrow to truly reflect society in all shapes and sizes.

 

By teaching children about LGBT+ people, the issues they face and various forms of relationships you are showing them that LGBT+ people are nothing to be ashamed of or fearful of. The children of gay parents will see their families reflected, and LGBT+ children will feel less alone. You are teaching children tolerance, not just about LGBT+ people but anyone who looks, acts, or thinks differently then they do. I don’t want my son to go to school and be afraid to tell people he has two Mums, and he shouldn’t have to be. He is entitled to the same education and representation as any other child.

 

It’s the same at a leadership level. We need to see all sections of society reflected in leadership positions so they can influence people around them. If a leader demonstrates homophobic or racist or any other type of discriminatory attitudes it gives those around them the freedom to behave in the same way. Leaders inspire the next generation. Their beliefs and the things they stand for pave the road for others and  I’ve been so inspired by out and proud MPs like Mhairi Black and business leaders like the former Managing Director of Wales’ largest industrial companies, GE Aviation Wales, La-Chun Lindsay, I know that I too can be a leader. Although neither industry is one I plan on working in I am still inspired and feel proud by women like that who prove that you can be a true leader no matter who you love.

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash