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Why I’m running for Pride at this year’s London Marathon

Why I’m running for Pride at this year’s London Marathon

Craig Michael during one of his runs ahead of the London Marathon.

Thousands of runners come to London this Sunday to run the London Marathon and raise vital funds for causes close to their hearts.

With Pride Cymru as one of The Virgin Money Lounge’s local charities in Cardiff, we were given a running space at the London Marathon.

As a big LGBTI activist, I have been part of the Pride family for over 30 years, so it only made sense to jump onto this opportunity. It’s important to me that the LGBTI community is represented at events, not just among the runners but also among the charities people are running for.

We need to be visible

The LGBTI community has played a meaningful role in my life and still does. It has been there through all the ups and downs, ever since I came out in the mid-80s and became a place where I could go to be myself.

Back then, LGBTI icons weren’t as visible as they are today, and online platforms where you could unite simply weren’t available.

The support I received during that period is why I am always looking to give back to the community and the people who played a pivotal role in this. It’s why I have always been involved in Pride in some shape or form, starting at the LGBT+ Switchboard.

Although we have come far as a community, we need to continue to move and be visible.

The London Marathon is one of the UK’s biggest events. So many big charities are there and have support, which is incredible. But this platform is also the perfect chance for us to represent lesser-known charities and raise awareness.

By running for Pride Cymru, I get to represent LGBTI people across Wales. I believe it’s necessary that we not only represent communities within our local areas but also outside of them.

A huge honor

Craig and the Pride Cymru team fundraising for Craig's marathon.
Craig and the Pride Cymru team fundraising for Craig’s marathon. | Photo: supplied

It is a huge honor to get to represent Pride Cymru in London on Sunday.

As I stand behind Pride Cymru’s mission of promoting a more tolerant and inclusive society. I want to spread that message, both within and outside of Wales.

I have volunteered for Pride Cymru since 2014 and have become one of the event directors, organising Pride Cymru’s annual Big Weekend. It has been incredible to see the event grow over the years and each year has more and more people from all different backgrounds come together to celebrate love and diversity.

But Pride is so much more than just that, and I think that is something this fundraiser shows.

My Pride Cymru family

Every year, Pride organisations throughout the UK work hard to eliminate prejudice and exclusion. They try to reach out to people daily, becoming more and more visible and showing everyone that it is perfect to just be yourself, and you should feel proud of who you are. My Pride Cymru family has always supported me and encouraged me to do my best.

Since the Pride movement began, there have been huge steps towards equality in legislation, yet, unfortunately, the reality is that we live in a society where intolerance still prevails and where members of the LGBTI community still face homophobic, transphobic and bi-phobic behavior in their daily lives. Now is not the time to pause, we still need to be here and be visible.

Sunday’s event is an opportunity for us to come together, promoting unity and respect for all. We represent people with a range of backgrounds and life experiences, empowering the voices that champion the LGBTI cause in Wales and beyond.

To support Craig on his run, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CraigPC.

See also

London’s first trans pride is coming

Tokyo Rainbow Pride is upon us and here’s how Japan celebrates love

Turkish court lifts ban on Pride events in Ankara