In February, the event organisers had announced this year’s theme was ‘You! Me! Us! We!’, saying that, “In a climate where LGBT+ communities feel more divided than ever, this year’s theme calls out the crucial need for allyship in order to heal rifts between groups … The latest figures show almost a third of LGBT+ people have experienced some form of discrimination from others in their local LGBT+ community. In comparison, three in five black LGBT+ people have experienced discrimination from other queer people because of their ethnicity.”
The term ‘allyship’ means to stand in solidarity with others. It is about doing your bit to challenge discrimination and show your support for a cause. That cause might not directly impact on you personally, but being an ally means that you give your support to make/ campaign for the changes needed.
Since the Pride organisers made their announcement, we have witnessed the atrocious killing of George Floyd and the uproar it has rightly caused around the world, with a swelling of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Pride statistics show that discrimination can happen everywhere; even in LGBTQ+ spaces where we should all feel safe and accepted.
I attended the Brighton Black Lives Matter march at the weekend and was impressed to see the biggest turnout I’ve ever witnessed in the city for a ‘political’ event. Whole streets were filled with thousands of people supporting Black Lives Matter and carrying anti-racist banners, as well as ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ and ‘Black Queer Lives Matter’.
In line with the general population of the city, most demonstrators were white; they were showing that they were allies to the cause and marching in solidarity against racist discrimination and violence.
The Pride organisers have asked everyone who would have taken part in the festivities this month to ‘make an act of allyship … As LGBT+ people, especially those from marginalised communities, continue to come under attack from many sides”. You can find out more on the Pride website.