Why Pride is a protest

CSP LGBTQIA+ diversity network communications officer Laura Rathbone looks at the history of Pride 

Laura Rathbone (she/her) is a pain-specialised advanced  practice NMSK physiotherapist
Laura Rathbone (she/her) is a pain-specialised advanced practice NMSK physiotherapist

This month we celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride and I can’t wait to get the sequins out and share in the freedom. I experience as an openly bi woman. I remember my first Pride as a closeted ally in Blackpool. Watching people celebrate their sexuality without shame and dreaming of one day being here. Finding pride can be a process.

And whilst Pride is a great opportunity for celebration, it’s important we also remember that Pride is a protest.

The history of the Pride march goes back to the Stonewall rebellion (or riots) in New York June 1969. After years of discrimination, the queer community came together to demand equal rights in society and freedom from oppression.

Many people showed enormous bravery, but it is widely acknowledged that the rebellion was led by three gender non-conforming transgender rights activists of colour: Stormé de Larverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera. 

A new era in queer liberation was won through the collective protest and rebellion of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Working with the diversity networks, I am deeply aware that there are many freedoms still to fight for here in the UK and abroad.

I can see just how powerful and strong our voice as a diverse and inclusive community of physiotherapists can be – hear us roar! 

As we march this Pride month, I take with me the words of Black American poet, lesbian and feminist activist Audre Lorde: ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.’ 

So, I invite all of us to remember who fought for our right to be here. The best way we, as a community, can honour the bravery of our queer and Black, Asian and minority ethnic family around the world, is by continuing to protest on behalf of those who have not yet found the liberation and social inclusion that many of us benefit from. 

Because Pride is a protest and we have much still to fight for. 

Number of subscribers: 1

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added