Birmingham Pride organisers have announced that the festival’s Parade theme for 2020 will be 'Stronger Together' - a theme which finds its inspiration in the actions of two trans women more than half a century ago...
In New York in June 1969, a black, transgendered woman, Marsha P Johnson, and Latino-American trans activist Sylvia Rivera threw the bricks which sparked into life the Stonewall Riots and ignited the gay liberation movement, with gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and other queer activists standing shoulder to shoulder in the face of oppression, bigotry and hatred.
The months following the riots were a time of LBBTQ unity, the community working, marching and campaigning together against a society which neither understood nor tolerated them.
“Over 50 years later and 2019 has seen a reported 331 trans and gender-diverse deaths,” says Birmingham Pride Festival Director Lawrence Barton in commenting on the Parade-theme announcement. “It has also seen a move towards separation of the 'T' from 'LGBTQ' by some members of the community.
“A third of trans people have been discriminated against because of their gender identity when visiting a cafe, bar or restaurant in the last year. Almost half of trans people don't feel comfortable using public toilets through fear of discrimination or harassment. More than two in five trans people avoid certain streets because they simply don't feel safe there as an LGBTQ person.
“It’s extremely evident that the fight which was started by the Stonewall pioneers 50 years ago is far from won, with some of our community still homeless, still facing discrimination and still marginalised.
“Birmingham Pride stands proudly in support of our trans family. Our wider community has won many battles; achieved as one voice, as one movement. We achieve more when we are united. We are 'stronger together'."
Birmingham Pride 2020 takes place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May, with tickets going on sale this Thursday, 28 November.
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