By Amrik Bhachu (He/Him), Sales Manager and LGBTQIA+ Deputy Lead
Pride is a celebration of love, laughter and life bringing together humanity to be more accepting and encompassing of the world around us. Pride is there to empower you to allow you to accept who you are and be proud of all that you stand for. Pride is like a big hug where you will find your people and they will be entirely welcoming to you.
There are many different faces to pride and many different meanings behind pride depending upon an individual’s life story. In my 20s it was all about the celebration of being proud, colourful outfits studded with rhinestones glittering with the light, and attending parties where you would drink a heady mixture of cocktails and dance the night away and welcome a euphoric sunrise.
The Pride parade is a symbol of activism, where we march because we can and for those who cannot. After the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the very first Pride parades began in New York and this momentous tradition carries on today all over the world in different cities and towns bringing together the diverse communities that we all belong to.
Even though I have never marched in a parade, pride in my 30s reflected on how far we had come, and where we are heading, and to take a moment to celebrate the progress that we have made. As I stood on the side-lines cheering on the giant floats, the drag queens, the activists, the mothers, the fathers, the young, and the old, pride became more about inclusion acknowledging and accepting someone’s true self.
Now in my 40s, Pride is a celebration of equality and diversity, accepting someone’s true self. It is me accepting and being proud of who I am. It is about saying this is me, and I am proud to be me. Pride month is a reminder of our ongoing struggle for rights and freedoms within the UK and the wider world. Although I still like to party, Pride now is much more than partying and music. It is an opportunity to celebrate LQBTQA+ history, culture, activism, and life experiences. It is a time to remember all those who have gone before us and paved the yellow brick road that we walk today, remembering the sacrifices they made, the dangers they faced, and the prejudices they came across.
There is so much to be proud of and so much to celebrate during Pride, but there is also a lot more work that needs to be done until everyone can be accepted for who they are in this world. Have pride and be proud in everything that you do.