Pride with buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker Nico

Pride with buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker Nico

Pride, to me, is a beautiful example of how important community is and how coming together can make real change. Not just a weekend of rainbows, celebration, dancing and glitter. There is a powerful history to Pride and the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic1+) community standing up against discrimination and violence. This blog is to share some of that history, take note of how far we’ve come, the need for Pride, and to highlight the organisations supporting LGBTQIA+ people in Manchester and beyond.

Pride events happen globally as a celebration but also a protest for the equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people. Although it feels like a party; protest is embedded in its history.

LGBTQIA+ people have existed for centuries. The language to acknowledge this diversity of sexualities and genders is constantly changing and growing. Although some words are newer, these experiences can be found throughout history. If you want to find out more about the acronym, here is Stonewall’s Glossary.

The modern LGBTQIA+ liberation and pride movement began in the 1970s, marked notably by the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, New York.

The first Gay Pride happened the year after to continue the spirit of resistance towards a system and society that shamed anyone who was not straight and/or did not conform to gender norms.

In the years following, Prides cropped up around the world, including Manchester.

August bank holiday, 1985, is known as Manchester’s first Pride event. The event was made up of a simple jumble sale and get together organised by a few local bars and community members, in what is now known as Manchester’s Gay Village (Canal Street). It was a bank holiday fundraiser for AIDS organisations and services, which has continued year after year. Over time, with more people coming together, the weekend has grown to encompass aspects we know today like the Parade and Vigil.

Manchester has a rich history, outside of the bank holiday weekend, in fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights. This history includes protests against Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act in February 1988, taking over Piccadilly and Albert Square.

Content Note for discussion around discrimination, hate crime and mental health: Time Out – Manchester Pride celebrates a proud LBGT history

Indeed, there have been significant changes for the LGBTQIA+ community between the 1970s and now. But there is still a long way to go. Globally, being LGBTQIA+ is explicitly criminalised in 71 states. Although being LGBTQIA+ is not illegal in the UK, the community still faces discrimination, harassment and health inequalities*:

  • Almost 1 in five LGBT people (18%) have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
  • 1 in 5 LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.
  • More than 1/3 of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination.
  • Half of LGBT people have said they experienced depression in the last year. This increases to 70% amongst non-binary people, 55% amongst LGBT women and more than 46% amongst GBT men. At the time of research (2018), Mind said 1 in 6 (16.6%) of adults within the general population of England reported a common mental health problem.

*Stonewall - LGBT facts and figures 2018

There are many fantastic organisations, community groups and individuals who continue to create safe, welcoming and affirming spaces to support the LGBTQIA+ community in Manchester and beyond.

A snapshot of these services and groups are found below2.

LGBT Foundation

Providing one-to-one support and group social spaces (currently online) for LGBTQIA+ people. Programmes include Women’s, Bi, Older, Trans, Sexual Health, Wellbeing and more. There is also a dedicated helpline Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm.

0345 330 30 30

helpline@lgbt.foundation

Out in the City

Support group in Manchester for over 50’s LGBTQIA+ people.

Rainbow Noir

A safe space for LGBTQIA+ people of colour. Meet ups take place every month in Manchester.

rainbownoir@gmail.com

Albert Kennedy Trust

Supports LGBTQIA+ young people aged 16 - 25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness, or living in a hostile environment.

gethelp@akt.org.uk

George House Trust

Providing services to anyone living with and affected by HIV.

talk@ght.org.uk

The Proud Trust

Supporting LGBTQIA+ young people (8 - 25) through youth groups, peer support, mentoring programs and the Proud Connections chat service.

Queer Family Tea

A non-profit and volunteer led event space ran by the queer community for the queer community and those who support them. Socials are sober events.

@QueerFamilyTea on Instagram.

This Pride take some time to research LGBTQIA+ history and experiences. If you run a service or group, are you inclusive to those with intersecting identities and lived experiences? If you are an ally, see how you can show up for your LGBTQIA+ friends, co-workers and neighbours.

Lastly, are you a Manchester resident wanting to set up a local community project that supports your wellbeing?

Remember you can get in touch with your local Neighbourhood Health Worker to get some help in developing that idea into (hopefully) a reality!

Wishing you all a beautiful Pride,

Nico

Neighbourhood Health Worker for Ardwick & Longsight

- they/ them pronouns

Nico.Dhillon@gmmh.nhs.uk

1Queer has been reclaimed by many in the LGBTQIA+ community. It is used in this article in a positive and affirming way. It is important to note there is a history of the term being used in a derogatory way. Do not assume language to describe an individual, other than the words they use for themselves.

2Please note, some groups are currently on pause or only meeting online, building up to meeting in person. If in doubt, please contact the organisation or group contact directly for current plans.


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