LGBT+ Pride?! But when is Straight Pride? - Steph looks back at the history behind LGBT+ Pride
TW – This may offend Straight People and is not a ‘comfortable read’ for anyone but it is a necessary read for all
We have all seen it, every time an LGBT+ event is planned and advertised, Joe Bloggs inevitably comments ‘well when is Straight Pride?’ Let me answer that for you – EVERY SINGLE DAY IS STRAIGHT PRIDE DAY.
Straight Pride is being able to marry without even having to protest for the right
Straight Pride is being able to adopt children without people questioning whether your sexuality will ‘rub off’ on the children
Straight Pride is being able to share public displays of affection without your affection being used as a pornographic fantasy
Straight Pride is being able to identify yourself in EVERY SINGLE advert, tv program, music video and film without newspapers calling it an agenda and not fit for kids.
Let me elucidate to you why we have LGBT+ Pride or as most people know it Gay Pride. In 1533, English Law outlawed homosexuality and it was punishable by death – whilst legally it was never a crime for women to be homosexual, in a social context it was seen as the same as that of male homosexuality.
Many gay men were subjected to chemical castration or other barbaric practices of conversion therapy leading to the deaths of many gay men and trans women including Alan Turing who was responsible for breaking the Enigma Code leading to the victory of Allies in WW2.
Homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1967 so long as it was in private but this only extended to England and Wales – not Scotland, NI nor the merchant navy or armed forces.
In 1969, Black and Latino gay men, drag queens and trans women led violent demonstrations against the police at Stonewall, NY after being constantly harassed by them because the LGBT+ community were tired of being treated as suspects because of their gender or sexual orientation.
In 1971, the UK Government passed the Nullity of Marriage Act that explicitly banned same sex marriage in England and Wales and in 1981 the first UK case of AIDS was recorded leading to further heightened persecution of the LGBT community across the world.
In 1984, the Lesbian and Gays support the Miners Campaign was launched because they knew exactly the type of harassment Miners were facing from the Police Force.
In 1986, Mark Rees, a trans-man, brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights, stating that UK law prevented him from gaining legal status recognising him as male. The case was lost but the court noted the seriousness of the issues facing trans people.
In 1988, the Government introduced Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988. The Act states that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". THIS IS AN ISSUE WE ARE STILL FIGHTING DESPITE THE REPEAL OF SECTION 28 BY THE GOVERNMENT IN 2003!
In 1985, The landmark case - P vs S and Cornwall County Council - found that an employee who was about to undergo gender reassignment was wrongfully dismissed. It was the first piece of case law, anywhere in the world, which prevented discrimination in employment or vocational education because someone is trans.
In 1997, Stephen Twigg became the first openly gay MP elected and Angela Eagle became the first MP to voluntarily come out as a lesbian as those who proceeded her were outed by the press.
In 1999, Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Soho, was bombed by former British National Party member, David Copeland. The attack killed three people and wounds at least 70.
In 2000, the UK Government lifted the ban on lesbians, gay men and bi people serving in the armed forces after the European Court of Human Rights the year previous found that the dismissal of two people based on sexual orientation was a breach of their human rights.
In 2004, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 was passed, giving trans people full legal recognition in their appropriate gender. The Act allows trans people to acquire a new birth certificate, although gender options are still limited to ‘male’ or ‘female’.
In 2004, the Civil Partnership Act was passed, granting civil partnership in the United Kingdom. The Act gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Whilst this was a huge step towards marriage equality– this was not enough and so the LGBT+ community fought on.
In 2007, The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 outlawed the discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education and public functions on the grounds of sexual orientation.In 2008, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 recognised same-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos.
In 2010, a new offence of ‘incitement to homophobic hatred’ came into force in the UK. In 2013, the UK held its first Trans Pride Event over 23 years after the first Pride Event in Manchester. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 officially came into force, with the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales taking place on 29 March 2014. Ireland followed by huge referendum majority in 2015 to legalise same sex marriage and in 2016, the Isle of Man followed suit.
However, in 2016, North Carolina introduced a law – HB2 – which forced people to use public toilets or changing facilities that correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth. Many celebrities spoke out and cancelled scheduled appearances in protest. 49 people were killed and 53 people injured after a gunman opened fire in the LGBT nightclub Pulse, in Orlando. London and other major cities across the world held vigils to show solidarity with the victims.
In 2017, the USA elected Donald Trump as President and Mike Pence as Vice President – Pence believes in Gay Conversion Therapy – In 2019, the UK elected Ann Widdecombe as an MEP, she believes LGBT+ people can be cured.
In 2017, Amendments were made to the Children and Social Work Bill, which will make relationships and sex education (RSE) mandatory in all schools in England and Wales from 2019 – leading to protests outside of schools in the Midlands.
In 2019, the National Union of Students Annual Conference voted to save the Trans Campaign during the NUS’ Turnaround discussions.
Whilst we as a community have come so far in gaining equality – we have SO much further to go. Our Trans and Non Binary siblings are still struggling to fight for equality and recognition, our Black lgbt+ community are fighting for acceptance within our own community, TERFS are still allowed to argue against pro LGBT+ conversations because of ‘academic integrity’.
jurisdictions criminalise private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity. The majority of these jurisdictions explicitly criminalise sex between men via ‘sodomy’, ‘buggery’ and ‘unnatural offences’ laws. Almost half of them are Commonwealth jurisdictions.
jurisdictions criminalise private, consensual sexual activity between women using laws against ‘lesbianism’, ‘sexual relations with a person of the same sex’ and ‘gross indecency’. Even in jurisdictions that do not explicitly criminalise women, lesbians and bisexual women have been subjected to arrest or threat of arrest.
jurisdictions in which the death penalty is imposed or at least a possibility for private, consensual same-sex sexual activity. At least 6 of these implement the death penalty – Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – and the death penalty is a legal possibility in Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and UAE. Executions have been reported in ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria in recent years.
jurisdictions criminalise the gender identity and/or expression of transgender people, using so-called ‘cross-dressing’, ‘impersonation’ and ‘disguise’ laws. In many more countries transgender people are targeted by a range of laws that criminalise same-sex activity and vagrancy, hooliganism and public order offences.
So yes we have Pride, because we need to celebrate our wins and protest against the losses we face on a daily basis.
Until you have to fight daily discrimination for being straight – please PLEASE stop asking when straight pride is, because your sexual orientation and cis genderism is celebrated everyday. So join us in our fight, comes to pride, ensure safe spaces for LGBT+ community and always ALWAYS be fierce and fabulous...