When Ian Baynham was punched and kicked into a coma, later dying from the injuries he sustained, Pride London along with other organisations helped me stage the first London Vigil against Hate Crime (30th October 2009).
This was one of the biggest street mobilisations against homophobia outside of the Pride season for over a decade and I doubt we would have been able to pull it off as successfully as we did without the skills and experience that people had learnt whilst being involved in events like Pride.
Pride is important to me because I see it as a great opportunity to bring people together who believe in human rights.
It is so much more than just standing up for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liberation around the globe, it is an opportunity to be inclusive and celebrate the spectrum of diversity that exists across our many communities.
We can also sign-post and promote important campaigns and the good work that people are involved in; raising awareness and tackling so many important issues – like tackling Hate Crime and ensuring that those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.
Volunteering for Pride is hard work but it is also a wonderful experience meeting new people, learning and sharing skills. It helps empower people and give them self-confidence which in turn benefits their communities too.
I firmly believe that the more you put into Pride the more you enjoy it and for all of the reasons above and more Pride also helps us to keep things moving forward, it strengthens our communities to stand up for our rights and makes life for many people even better.
I am amazed at how far we have come since the Stonewall Riots and hope that we can continue to work together with the new London LGBT+ Community Pride organisation to ensure that Pride keeps going so that future generations can appreciate it as much too.
Having attended all the meetings that took place after World Pride last year I have seen a talented group of people come forward representing a diverse section of our many communities and I am confident that they are going to do some brilliant work over the next five years running Pride – which is why I’m glad to get behind them too.
I’ve donated £10 today and will be doing everything I can to encourage other people to volunteer and get involved.
Find out how you can help at London LGBT+ Community Pride