This coming Saturday, 27th June, should have been the day when Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Pride were to celebrated in London and in many places around the world. Whilst the Pride in London parade has been cancelled this year, over the next fortnight, Middlesex Cricket will be running a series of interviews and content features to champion the equality and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people - not only in the sport, but in all walks of life.
Middlesex Cricket passionately believes that there is no place for prejudice or discrimination in cricket or in wider society and we hope that our campaign goes some way to helping people understand the importance of acceptance, tolerance, respect and equality for LGBTQ+ people.
Normally, around this time of year, our players, and those across the game, would be lacing up their boots with vibrantly coloured laces, in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which the ECB and all involved in cricket support each year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put paid to those plans, at least for now. So whilst we wait for the cricket season to eventually begin, Middlesex is proud to support Stonewall and other LGBTQ+ charities in promoting the message of acceptance without exception.
With this year marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first ever Pride march, we’re raising a bat in celebration of Pride reaching its half century milestone, and hope that you enjoy and take something away from this campaign.
Middlesex Cricket independent director Edward Lord OBE, who is also a trustee of LGBT Foundation and formerly chaired Pride in London’s advisory board, said...
“I was really pleased when Richard Goatley, CEO of the club, said that he wanted Middlesex to come out on the front foot supporting Pride this year. There continues to be significant prejudice around the world against LGBTQ+ people, and homosexuality is still illegal in around 70 countries. Sport remains an area where it is particularly difficult to be out as a professional player, and a major club like Middlesex being clear that it supports equality and inclusion for all will certainly help change the culture and enable more people to be their authentic selves on the field of play.”
THE HISTORY OF PRIDE
Pride’s roots date back to America in the late nineteen sixties, when, following a police raid in June 1969 on the Stonewall Inn, a known gay bar in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York, lesbian, gay, bi and transgender persons took to the streets, rioting in protest of the violation of their rights. Further protests in New York in the following days and weeks provided a platform for the LGBT community to launch public marches on a much wider scale, which continue today in the form of annual Pride marches.
Whilst the tone of these marches has since changed over the decades that have passed, from a more sombre commemoration of the Stonewall riots to the modern day form of carnivalesque celebrations by the LGBT community, the message remains the same - that nothing short of acceptance without exception can be tolerated.
The first ever Pride march took place on the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid, in June 1970 in New York City, when thousands from the LGBT community marched the 51 blocks from Manhattan to Central Park. Similar public marches took place in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles on the last weekend of June and a movement had begun.
The following year saw US marches also organised and run in the cities of Boston, Dallas and Milwaukee, and across the globe in London, Paris and West Berlin. By 1972, marches were also held in the US cities of Philadelphia, Miami, Washington DC, Buffalo, Atlanta and Detroit and in England in Brighton. Pride has since evolved into a truly global celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, doing a huge amount of good work to break down barriers and prejudice.
This year, 2020, should have marked the fiftieth anniversary of Pride marches, with over 350 global Pride marches planned this year sadly falling victim to the global pandemic we’re in the midst of. Pride organisers have instead turned to running their celebrations online on the 27th June, when members of LGBTQ+ communities and their friends and allies can join in celebrations of culture, music and speeches, reflecting on fifty years of the Pride movement.
For those looking to find their own ways to celebrate Pride in the capital during lockdown in June, why not check out the Pride in London website, who have a brilliant list of online events to join. Click HERE to view their events page.
Whilst Stonewall is by far the best known charity advocating for LGBTQ+ people in the United Kingdom, there are several other organisations running excellent services
akt supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment.
The charity supports young people into safe homes and employment, education or training, in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.
With volunteers and staff in London, Leeds and Bristol, Gendered Intelligence supports young trans people aged eight to 25. This year, its annual summer camps have shifted online – with dozens of youth programmes offered each week, from group meetings to one-on-one support.
Devoted to supporting the LGBTQIA+ Muslim community and non-Muslim allies, Hidayah literally means “guidance” in Arabic. It offers popular safe spaces in which to socialise, as well as a range of spiritual and education services for queer youths.
House of Rainbow works to empower members of the BAME LGBTQIA+ community through everything from asylum seekers’ support to mental health counselling.
Based in Manchester but providing services nationally, the LGBT Foundation has pivoted its 45-year-old support services to focus on urgent needs tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, it offers its counselling, advice, training, and support groups virtually and by phone.
Established in 1972 London Friend is the UK’s oldest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans charity. They support the health and mental wellbeing of the LGBT community in and around London. London Friend offers counselling and support around issues such as same-sex relationships, sexual and gender identity and promoting personal growth and self-confidence. They're also home to Antidote - the UK's oldest LGBT drug and alcohol service. Our social groups provide a safe space to meet and socialise as an alternative to the bar and club scene.
Brighton-based charity MindOut provides mental health services by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Its primary focus is on supporting those in crisis through legal guidance, counselling and access to peer networks.
Pride Sports was founded in 2006 and was the first, and still one of only three organisations in the UK working solely to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport and improve access to sport for LGBT+ people.
The Outside Project functions as a crisis shelter for members of the LGBTQIA+ community at risk of homelessness – a particularly crucial mission during the pandemic. It has also just opened a specialist shelter for victims of domestic abuse.