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On 1 July 1972, a small group of heroic LGBTQ campaigners marched from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park, to mark their fight for acceptance in London’s first ever Pride rally.
On 25 June 2022, a 42 year old man, marched into a gay bar in Oslo, Norway, with an automatic rifle and killed two men and wounded at least twenty more. This tragic event occurred just hours before the start of Norway’s Pride celebrations. Just a day later, on 26 June 2022, more than 300 people were arrested or detained as they attempted to march for Pride in Istanbul, Turkey. This is why, 50 years after the first march, Pride celebrations still matter. Sadly, there is still more to do.
In our 2022 Pride blog series we have reminisced and celebrated the progress has been made over the past half-century and we have reminded ourselves what challenges we still have to overcome. In this final blog I would like to say thanks to all of my colleagues who have contributed to this series, but also to all of those who in their own way, seek to make the world a kinder, better place for the LGBTQ community.
We say thanks to Dame Kelly Holmes, and Jake Daniels. Exceptional sportspeople and role models. Who, in their own time, and at the right time for them, found the courage to stand up and tell others their truth.
We say thanks to the authors, those who write books for children, that normalise and celebrate the love that exists in LGBTQ families. Whether it be Sophie Beer’s ‘Love Makes a Family’ or ‘The Pirate Mums’ by Jodie Lancet-Grant, or ‘Julian is a Mermaid’ by Jessica Love. When I snuggle up with my toddler at the end of the day and his first choice is always (in his words) “The Love One” it reminds me of the progress that has been made since I was a kid.
We say thanks to the allies. Thanks to the colleagues who stand in support of the issues impacting on our community. Whether it is wearing a rainbow lanyard, helping to organise an LGBTQ event, providing pro bono advice to those impacted by discrimination, calling out micro-aggressions, or being a vocal senior role model. I thank you for taking the time to show that kindness matters.
We say thanks to our clients and those who refer work to us from the LGBTQ community. We know that for many in our community the interaction with the law has not always been a happy one. We try hard to provide a better experience. Thank you for choosing us.
We say thanks to the next generation of lawyers. Year-on-year, we see more trainees and newly qualified lawyers being very honest with us about who they are and what matters to them. This does not go unnoticed. We hope that your honesty helps you find happiness in your role. It also reminds us that the efforts that we make to be an LGBTQ friendly workplace are not in vain.
And we say thanks, to all of those who marched fifty years ago. We say thanks to the generations of LGBTQ folk who came before us and who have had a far greater struggle than my wife and I have ever, or will ever have, to live an authentic life. We are fortunate every day, and in a million ways to benefit from the hard work and bravery of those who went before us. Thank you for standing up and being proud.
On Saturday, 2 July 2022, the Pride parade will once again be held in central London. This year’s campaign slogan is #AllOurPride, recognising and embracing the many intersecting ways that we celebrate Pride. This year we will also remember those in Oslo who so tragically lost their lives or were hurt whilst celebrating their authentic love and life.
On behalf of Kingsley Napley’s LGBTQ & Allies network we wish you all a very happy and safe Pride.
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