The Stonewall Riots
Pride was born from the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969. It began when a group of LGBTQI+ folk, fed up with abuse, injustice and corruption in law enforcement, decided they had had enough and fought back. It began as a protest. It was political and angry and for the first time in modern history, LGBTQI+ people started to make small gains in their rights. However, these have not come without resistance.
Who would believe that until only 15 years ago and the repeal of Section 28, it was illegal to let children know that a family with two dads or two mums was ok? And as a result, there are still people who today believe that loving families are somehow wrong, or immoral because they do not conform to some arbitrary norm? Who would believe that even today, people are denied housing, jobs, or even basic services because even with laws supposedly preventing it, narrow-minded attitudes can still prevail over fairness?
The Birth of Pride
Pride is the counter to this. Pride was born in order to show the World that LGBTQI+ people are proud to be who they are and unashamed in the face of prejudice. It is a tool that shows that we are just like everyone else in so many ways and it is a way of educating without conflict.
Gravesham, like everywhere else, has a LGBTQI+ population. We live among the rest of society, living our lives as well as we can, fitting in and contributing, just like everyone else. Now is our time. Now, we want to be recognised. Now, we want people to know that casual bigotry in our town is not welcome. This is where we reach out to our friends and allies to celebrate what we have in common. To take joy from what unites us rather than allowing any differences to divide us.
The borough of Gravesham has a long history of social integration. Ours is a multi-hued and widely diverse population. We have a long tradition of welcoming and enfolding new ideas and new cultures. We think now is the time to acknowledge and celebrate the fabulous! Now, we let it be known that our flag stays rainbow.