Activists are raising money to help LGBTI minorities take part in this year’s Pride in London and other important festivals.
LGBTI migrants and homeless people say they feel excluded from Pride as they can’t face the costs involved. Therefore, activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) will host a fundraising event in London’s Soho on 28 June, the anniversary of Stonewall Riots.
Charities drew inspiration from the film Pride, based on the true story of how lesbians and gays supported the miners’ families during the 1984 strike in the UK.
All proceeds will ensure LGBTI homeless charity The Outside Project and migrant group African Rainbow Family can attend Prides safely. They will go to several events, including Pride in London, UK Black Pride, Trans Pride and London BiFest.
LGBTI minorities started the Stonewall Riots
‘We shouldn’t forget that homeless, trans, and women of color started the Stonewall Riots,’ said LGSMigrants Harry Gay.
‘[But] Minority groups are alienated by the parade because of its focus on the white gay male community and the costs.’
The Outside Project founder Carla Ecola echoed Gay’s feelings.
‘People from these “outsider” groups are the same as those who started the LGBTI rights movement in 1969,’ she said.
‘All Pride events are aimed at the mainstream community. It’s mainly white, middle-class people celebrating, while minorities are not getting the basics of what they need because of systemic oppression.’
‘We want free admission for minority groups’
Ecola hopes the ‘bucket shake’ will help marginalized groups march at Pride in London as part of the Outsider Pride movement.
The activist also explains they would like to get ‘free admission for a reasonable percentage of minority groups’.
As for future achievements, she would like to see ‘a variety of events to go to after the march that responds to access or needs of minority groups, such as non-alcoholic parties for people who are in recovery, our youth and those who are destitute. People seeking asylum only have £35 per week to live on.’
The Outside Project will sustain a cost of £650 for 80 wristbands to attend Pride. Furthermore, their tour bus, which offered shelter to LGBTI homeless individuals during the winter, will become a float.
Homeless charity Streets Kitchen will also be attending the parade together with Queerseum, Queer Flags and Save The Black Cap.
‘Being able to attend Pride means freedom’
‘Nearly all of African Rainbow Family’s members are from Commonwealth countries where they’ve suffered from the legacies of homophobic laws exported to their home countries by Britain,’ explained Aderonke Apata.
She went on explaining the challenges faced by people of African heritage when they came to the UK.
‘They have no financial freedom as they have no permission to work,’ she said. ‘Being able to attend Pride events means freedom to them.’