Northumberland Labour Group’s leader reflects as Pride Month ends next week.
Scott Dickinson said: “As Pride Month draws to a close it’s worth remembering where this annual event came from. On 28 June 1969 USA Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, in Greenwich Village New York. The raid was an attack on anyone who did not fit into conventional gender roles and there was a massive backlash with demonstrations by gay men and lesbians. Three years later on 28 June 1970 the first gay pride marches took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Fransisco.
“The move to stop cruel prejudice against gay men and lesbians crossed the Atlantic and Pride marches and events began in the UK. The Pride movement expanded to include transgender, bi-sexual, non binary and queer people. And the joy of the movement is that it has given lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people a place to belong and campaign.
“The need to recognise that people do not fit neatly into two genders, but they are individuals in the own right, needs to continue. It’s a tragedy that people have suffered or even ended their own lives because of the lack of understanding or prejudice they face.
“Many steps forward have been made in recognising and celebrating gender diversity. In fact we find a joint statement by a number of world governments on the government’s own website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-celebrating-pride-month. This is a recognition that respecting difference is part of being a civilised society.
“I am so pleased that the Northumberland Pride Festival is to go ahead in Ashington on 28 August and even more pleased that Britishvolt, the company behind the proposed battery gigaplant in Cambois near Blyth, has been forward thinking enough to sponsor it.”