With the annual Manchester Pride event going ahead this weekend, many of us are just excited about the prospect of getting out of the house and enjoying a long weekend of partying after the disastrous year we have all had to endure. However, it’s very easy to lose sight of why events such as Manchester Pride were originally created and what they stand for especially as such events are now becoming heavily commercialised, overshadowing the core values and messaging that should be the main talking points of these types of events.
All Pride events that will be going ahead throughout the next couple of months are all intended to raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia that unfortunately is still an ongoing issue in today’s society. Even though we have come so far from the days of the Stonewall riots there is still a long way to go in order to achieve equality and the recent events of 2021 have definitely shown us that work is still yet to be done.
The Issue With DaBaby
One major issue that caught the world’s attention just a short time ago was the rapper DaBaby, who made highly inappropriate comments linking the LGBT community to HIV while performing at the Rolling Loud festival. This resulted in him having huge backlash both online and throughout the media, with statements from LGBT icons and allies such as Madonna, Elton John, Dua Lipa, and Demi Lovato condemning his actions. Major brands and festivals also publicly recognised his comments and took action against him, for example, BoohooMan who had a partnership with DaBaby terminated his contract, as well as the annual Parklife festival, announced they would be dropping him from headlining the event. These repercussions of putting homophobic speech out in the public domain help to send a clear signal not only to ordinary people but to high-profile individuals who have tremendous influence over their fans.
Rise In Hate Crimes
Latest figures in regards to hate crimes that we’re obtained by the BBC show that from all 45 police forces around the UK, the number of reported homophobic hate crime cases have almost tripled from 6,655 in 2014/15, which was the same year that same-sex marriage became legal, to 18,465 in 2019/20. Social media has also played a huge part in putting the focus on the reality of what it’s like to be a victim of a homophobic or transphobic attack.
Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community does mean that you are more likely to suffer from mental health issues with half of the people experiencing depression and three in five having experienced anxiety. Some issues that can cause poor mental health is discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, social isolation, rejection, and difficult experiences of coming out. There is also a link to those suffering from mental health issues after becoming a victim of a hate crime, developing anxiety, and poor mental health which can have long-term effects.
Supporting Manchester LGBTQ+ Charities
Below are just some of the charities helping to support the LGBT+ community across Manchester and other parts of the UK.
- The Albert Kennedy Trust – LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity working with young people aged 16 – 25 who are struggling with their housing situation or living in a hostile environment.
- George House Trust – George House Trust has been providing HIV support, advice and advocacy services to improve health outcomes since 1985.
- Rainbow Mind – Rainbow Mind is a project led by Mind in Salford and Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, aiming to tackle mental health issues specifically for individuals within the LGBTQI+ community across Greater Manchester and London.
- MindOut – MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people. We work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those within the community.
- LGBT Foundation – LGBT Foundation is a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities.
- The Proud Trust – The Proud Trust is an LGBT+ organisation that supports LGBT+ young people through youth groups, peer support, mentoring programs
Many still question the existence of pride, asking whether it’s still necessary to go ahead hosting such events and if the past couple of years have taught us anything, the answer is an unequivable yes.