As some of you may have notice, the rainbow flag was flown outside The Civic Centre in Gravesend today – But why?
This year marks 50 years since the original Stonewall Riots in New York which paved the way for the first Pride march held in the UK in London just 3 years later.
Whilst many people see Pride as just a colourful party and a chance to capitalise on the pink pound, this year more than ever, with arguments around teaching children about equality and diversity in schools, the rise in hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people and the constant stream of anti-trans stories in the press, we find ourselves returning to the original spirit of Pride as a protest and an opportunity to raise awareness and promote community cohesion.
Therefore, Gravesham Pride asked Gravesham Borough Council to fly the flag outside the Civic Centre to celebrate Pride in London because whilst many see the rainbow as just a colourful decoration, to the LGBTQ+ community it is a sign of hope, safety, peace and acceptance and to see it flying over the central hub of this community means more to us than words. It demonstrates that whilst there will be those who want us to shrink back into the closet ashamed of who we are, Gravesham Borough Council acknowledges us as valued members of this community and wants us to feel proud of who we are.