• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

THE CONTINUED struggle facing the LGBTQIA+ community is to be the driving force behind this year’s march which will herald the start of Northern Pride.

On Saturday 22 July the annual march through Newcastle city centre to the Town Moor – the site of Northern Pride – will see thousands of community members, allies, local people and businesses – join the colourful celebration.

And leading the way will be young people from schools and community groups from across the region, highlighting their right to be who they want to be, in the face of potential Government discrimination.

Organisers are also keen to ensure that the march – sponsored by Pride business partner, NE1 – will turn the spotlight on the current worrying events taking place in both the UK and USA.

Northern Pride this year decided to once again repeat its mission statement of Remember, Resist and Rise Up to highlight the real struggles that still exist.

The march is marking the 20 years since the repeal of Section 28 – laws which prohibited “the promotion of homosexuality” and which was seen as discriminatory – but at the same time is highlighting potential new legislation.

Ste Dunn, director of Northern Pride believes that repercussions from Section 28 can still be felt today.

“The legislation, which forbade teachers from even acknowledging the existence of LGBTQIA+ people in the classroom had profound effects on young people at the time, effects which are still being felt today,” he said.

Ste also hit out at leaked information which claims there is “new, harmful, Government guidance on trans young people in schools which risks returning us to the dark days of Section 28,” he said.

“The march will remember the impact it had at the time, pay homage to those who lived through it and are still experiencing its effects today and rise up against further legislative attempts to undermine the community and our rights to live as we are.”

With that in mind pupils from Heworth Grange School and Thorpe Academy will be at the front of this year’s march alongside young people from Children North East, True Colours Theatre and Diversity Role Models, to showcase the way that young trans people and the LGBTQIA+ younger community are facing numerous challenges.

The young people will be supported by the National Education Union, one of the leading forces behind much of the campaign against Section 28 during the 1980s and 1990s.

Northern Pride is concerned that the UK will follow in the footsteps of the USA where LGBTQIA+ rights are being eroded, given recent events in Florida and a ruling in June in Colorado which upheld a business’s rights to discriminate against gay couples.

The weekend will give attendees the opportunity to show their solidarity and support, as well as joining in celebration with a packed programme of events and entertainment.

Pride will consist of the free Community Village and the Festival Arena, where there is a small charge for entry to see a whole host of live performances across the two days.

Full details are available on the free Northern Pride app or at www.northern-pride.com