2019 was the perfect time for us to look back at how far we’ve come in the past 50 years. This year, a natural next step for Pride in London would’ve been to look forward - towards the future.
But we made a conscious choice.
A choice to take a moment and observe where we are, right now. A moment to reflect on our core values, to gather our Pride in London community and look inside and set the path for our collective identity for the future.
This quest of exploring the identity of London's unstoppable LGBT+ individuals became our ambition for 2020. While we are even more powerful together, defining the collective identity of a group as diverse London’s LGBT+ community is no easy task - especially when some of us are feeling marginalised.
61% of ethnic minority LGBT+ people have experienced racism through online dating apps or in person
79% of women who love women have experienced misogyny within the LGBT+ community
Increasing transphobia from within our own community against our community.
Working closely with Anomaly, our creative partner agency, we probed all the dimensions of our community to understand how people feel within it. We observed patterns of exclusion and division, may it be bisexual people being booed at Pride for kissing their partners of the opposite sex or the hurt our trans community felt after being repeatedly targeted by transphobia harboured from within our collective.
In the great words of the Trans activist, Lydia Blake, “We must acknowledge the hurt we cause each other.”
Acknowledging, understanding and healing this hurt became our mission for 2020. Unsurprisingly, this feeling of queer allyship is, and always has been, an integral part of Pride history. From the Stonewall riots, when lesbians, drag queens, trans men and women protested hand in hand with gay men, ‘til last year when we lead the Pride in London 2019 parade with the #LwithTheT banner - this sense of unapologetic inclusivity has been the cornerstone of our community.
This year, we wanted to revive it with a theme that would unify every queer voice on the streets of London; with an identity that welcomes each and every member of our community, regardless of their sexuality, identity, race, religion or background.
#YouMeUsWe was born.
#YouMeUsWe is a true labour of love, not only because it comes from sincere volunteered time, but also a spirit to stand proud together in a time of divisiveness in a city that is the mecca for LGBT+ individuals from all over the world.
On a personal note, it was Pride in London 2005 when I experienced this spirit of togetherness. A gay Pakistani immigrant who knew where he was born, but not until that moment, did he knew where he belonged.
Here’s to creating that moment for each and everyone one of you in 2020.