So it’s late Spring and throughout many countries in the world Gay (LGBT) Pride season is about to start, I still remember my first Pride in 1992.
I was 23 and had just come out a few months earlier, I had made some gay friends and they decided to take me to London Pride which was totally new to me as I at the time lived in a very small town.
There were no real out and proud every day gay role models back then, there was no internet, no apps etc so as far as I knew I was the only gay in the village. It was the early 1990s and LGBT people were only beginning to be accepted in society although there was still a lot of homophobia around and here in the UK the age of consent for gay men was 21.
Now I recall my excitement and amazement at just how many LGBT people there was, just how many handsome gorgeous men embraced the GAY!
My heart burst open with excitement with all the opportunities for sex, romance, love and pleasure that were now possible for me (I was moving to London later that year to study).
Anyway only two things really made that day slightly less enjoyable, the homophobia from the Police on the march, their aggressive stance and body language. It’s amazing to think that just a few years later the Gay Police Association would actually lead the Pride March instead of opposing it.
We also encountered homophobia when we got off at Brixton Tube to go to the event in Park. The street was lined with people who spat and called us “Batty men” which is, in my opinion, a term as disgusting today as it was back then.
The event in the park was amazing and was mostly hosted by LGBT pop stars and activists and was FREE! None of these boybands and pop stars charging £50,000 to perform.
Straight people often ask, Why do we need a Gay Pride? Why do we need to do this? Well, we need to remember that there are still many LGBT people coming out, coming out in small towns and villages across the land where they feel like the only gay in the village. Some still experience discrimination and prejudice, some are rejected by their families for doing so. Society too still has stereotypical images and perceptions of who LGBT people really are.
In many ways, Gay Pride challenges all that and for the newbies, it’s a powerful reminder that they are not alone, that they have a whole new family of LGBT brother and sisters out there, so many choices and support if they need it.
We also need to remember that in far too many countries our LGBT brothers and sisters face persecution, death, imprisonment and don’t have Pride parade’s to go on.
They don’t have the luxury of marching down the street with rainbow flags flying high and crowds of people waving them on and celebrating diversity with them.
So this Pride season march for them, march for the ones who are just coming out.
For the ones in the closet and afraid to come out, march to acknowledge how far we have we come.
Also remember how much work we have to do to help free our LGBT brothers and sisters around the world who live under homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic laws, tyranny and persecution.
Have a happy proud pride season…
Lots of Love Jakeb xXx