August marks Pride celebrations in Manchester, with celebrations taking place over the bank holiday weekend every summer. Unfortunately the parade isn't taking place this year, so you won't see us marching proudly as we'd hoped, but we can still use this time as a reason to look back at our history, reflect on how far we've come and think about how far we still have to go.
So, with this in mind we want to talk about what Pride means to us! We're all about celebrating everybody at One Manchester, so we asked our colleagues what Pride means to them and why it's important that we celebrate it. This is what they had to say...
Roger, Customer Services Adviser
"Pride for me is primarily about visibility and secondly about acceptability. My first Pride was in London 1991. We marched to the Embankment, along the way we were booed, people were spat at, and the Police presence was very heavy. Compare this to Manchester Pride in 2019, what a joyous and riotous day of colour, cheers, bonhomie, gigantic visibility and acceptance. The main chant of Pride marches in the 90s was 'We're here, we're queer and we aren't going shopping.'"
Isaac, Income Officer
"Pride is about bringing people together to celebrate love and friendship. To show that we are against hatred and homophobic reactions and we stand in solidarity and care for people within the LGBTQ community and other communities suffering discrimination all over the world. It is about teaching tolerance and acceptance of individuality in our society. Hopefully we will continue to move forward in achieving equality."
Jo, Service Designer
"Pride touches every community and for me, supporting Pride initiatives demonstrates a pledge for real inclusion for all. Pride reaches beyond LGBTQ+ to include all protected characteristics of race, culture, religion, belief, marriage, civil partnership, maternity/pregnancy, sexuality and gender! It's all encompassing, a flag to champion and represent a positive EDI culture for all."
Nicole, Chief Executive
"For me, Pride is about treating people with respect. It's about recognising and celebrating our differences and creating a safe environment where people can be their whole selves without fear of repercussion or judgement."
Anna, Chief Operating Officer
"Pride is about recognising, respecting, welcoming and valuing our LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers, so that we can create a culture in which a vibrant mix of people can feel comfortable and confident to be themselves."