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It’s Pride month again! Rainbow flags, bright colours and faces, wonderful events full of sparkling entertainment…and no doubt the now annual pushback from some as to why there even needs to be a Pride month.

“Why can’t we have a Straight Pride?”, they cry on X, bemoaning the inequality of it all while completely missing the point.

Because that IS the point. The LGBTQ+ community still do not have equality in societies across the globe, despite outward appearances here in the UK. Hate crimes against the community are still a very real factor in people’s lives.

Amnesty International once pointed to five key reasons why Pride matters:

1. People are still victims of prejudice and discrimination becacause of their sexuality.

2. They offer an opportunity to make a stand against homophobic and transphobic legislation.

3. Any rights that may have been won in recent years can never be taken for granted.

4. Pride events contribute to changing hearts and minds.

5. They are empowering for a community that often feels marginalised.

If you’re inclined to think that Pride events are merely opportunities to celebrate, then think again. Yes, the LGBTQ+ community rightly should celebrate their diversity, but Pride represents so much more than this. It is a proud history of taking a stand against persistent discrimination, it the right to protest against laws that intentionally aim to de-value their existence, and it is an opportunity to show that, whatever differences may be perceived, ultimately we are all the same. We are all humans.

And as such, we all deserve the same rights and respect. Happy Pride month 2024!