OPINION PIECE: Never Forget that Pride is a Protest

Billie Gold July 30, 2020

As I watched the amount of people stating their intention of attending the ‘Unofficial Pride Beach Party’ on FaceBook my heart sank. I very rarely get on my soapbox but this time it felt like something had to be said.

We have been in lockdown for over four months due to a deadly pandemic, while we have been in lockdown, we have had to forego many events that we mark as red letter days for the whole year, the most important one in our town of course, being Brighton & Hove Pride.

Yes we all have a fantastic time at Pride every year, yes we use it as a time to celebrate who we are and practice inclusivity, but it is so very important to remember that Pride is first and foremost a protest, that’s why we march. I have been fortunate enough to not have to grieve for any of my friends due to homophobia, or experience anything more than casual homophobia which is usually non violent, and I can turn a blind eye to it or choose to educate, this is absolutely not the case for some of our community.

Our yearly event is responsible for thousands in funding to the Brighton Rainbow Fund and other charities, vital to the performing lifeblood of the city, and is expertly staffed and planned by the Pride team. What was so insulting about the ‘Unofficial Pride Beach Party’ being announced, is that even with all the planning in the world it is still unsafe to gather in large groups due to the pandemic. It is quite literally not happening to save lives. Anyone shunning the safety measures put in place, which our wonderful city has adhered to (apart from the blatant cashing in on the pink pound), is not only flagrantly ignoring basic respect for human life, but is also opening up the city to longer closures.

I can only hope that sanity will prevail for most of the people who have shown to be attending, and that they instead tune into the wonderful Brighton & Hove Digital Pride Festival: We Are FABULOSO, live streaming over Brighton & Hove Pride weekend.