June is Pride month. At SWIC, we’re proud to be an inclusive company for all of our stakeholders, from customers to employees and investors – and we want to take the opportunity to highlight the important work that the LGBTQ+ community is doing to make society and everyday life more inclusive for everyone. Your hard work is paving the way to a more accepting and open society for future generations, and for that we thank you.
Pride month is celebrated in memory of the Stonewall riots that took place in New York, 1969. The Stonewall riots consisted of a three-day long protest and struggle from LGBTQ+ members who patronised the Stonewall Inn – a bar which was regularly raided and severely harassed by officials at the time. During one of the many police raids of Stonewall, the community finally said ‘enough’, fighting back to unjust police brutality in riots that ultimately changed the course of LGBTQ+ history forever.
The Stonewall riots are some of the most significant events leading to the gay liberation movement and in changing public opinion. We must also never forget the monumental role of Black and trans individuals – such as Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson – in Stonewall and their decades-long fight for equal rights, for all.
Summertime of 2020 and the upcoming warmer months of 2021 have brought a level of further uncertainty to the go-ahead of large, physical Pride celebrations taking place in June, and year-round. Suddenly-changing COVID-19 restrictions for meetups, socialising, events and gatherings have led to disappointment amongst our communities who deserve the right to celebrate freedom and visibility.
And we must remember that being inclusive doesn’t stop after LGBTQ+. Whilst some people may be relieved to be back in the crowds at Pride, it’s important to respect everyone’s boundaries and health when it comes to re-adjusting to socialising and keeping safe in post-COVID life.
Thankfully, organisers are offering tons of digital events to the public this year. We’ve loved seeing the effort and innovation that has gone into making several inclusive options available to communities celebrating Pride in both 2020 and 2021.
Many cities, businesses and organisations in the UK are choosing to hold digital or hybrid events, for example – with parades, games, live performances, speeches and celebrity appearances taking place online, and/or at in-person events.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the physical, hybrid and digital Pride & LGBTQ+ events that we’ll be checking out over the next few months – and we think you should too:
DQSH is an organisation based in the US, helping children to hear and learn from the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ community members through drag and storytelling.
By introducing children to alternative, queer and gender-defying role models, DQSH ‘creates diverse, accessible, and cultural inclusive family programming where kids can express their authentic selves and become bright lights of change in their communities.’
This online, family-friendly event is a wonderful opportunity for people of any age to come together and celebrate Pride month, by supporting and listening to stories told by fabulous queens.
Buy a ticket and reserve your place here: Eventbrite – Pride Palooza 2021
Bi Pride UK originally (and very successfully) organised an online Bi Fi Festival in summer 2020 – as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event last year featured various talks from bisexual speakers, organisations and Bi Pride UK; as well as drag performances, hula-hooping, cabaret and an afterparty disco.
The festival is making a return this year on the 19th June to highlight and give more visibility to bisexual voices.
We can’t wait to see what Bi Pride UK has in place for this year’s online event. Find out more about the event here, and keep an eye out for details on how to attend: Bi Pride UK – Bi Fi Festival
The Women’s Programme of The LGBT Foundation are hosting a special Pride-themed bingo event in the coming weeks. Their spaces are ‘centred around lesbian, bi, queer and questioning women, including trans women, non-binary and gender fluid people, women of colour, older women and disabled women, to come together and celebrate’.
The event will be 18+, and instead of numbers, will feature iconic celebrities and members of the LGBTQ+ community. As well as bingo, the event also aims to celebrate Pride, educate and spark conversation between like minded individuals in a safe space.
Sign up for Pride Bingo here: Eventbrite – Pride Bingo
SWIC’s home county of Suffolk is this year home to one of many hybrid Pride events. The organisation’s Pride 2021 announcement stated the event aims to ‘platform underrepresented groups, give a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and bring all our supporters together”.
Over a 3-day period, Suffolk Pride will host a series of small events which will be available to both in-person and online viewers. The events are designed to ensure physical safety of attendees whilst also increasing accessibility to those who won’t be attending physically – so the events can also be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home via livestream, and from anywhere in the UK.
Drag show extravaganzas, performances from local LGBTQ+ artists, live music and a range of family activities will take place between Friday 23rd and Sunday 25th July this summer.
And the best part? All online and physical events – with an exception of the main event on Friday – will be free to the public.
UK Black Pride is ‘Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people.’ The 16th annual UK Black Pride event will take place online between Friday 2nd July and Sunday 4th July, following their extremely successful digital pride event in 2020.
UK Black Pride have announced that the safety of their community is their number one priority, and so the event will be live streamed from an undisclosed venue in East London.
A statement by Lady Phyll and the UK Black Pride team, explains that this year’s theme – Love and Rage – ‘claps back against the many ways we are told who we are allowed to be, and how to grieve, love and rage. We will not be quiet, we will not be meek. We will be heard, and we will be loud.’
An incredibly significant and important Pride event to attend this year for all – read more and donate on the UK Black Pride website, and stay tuned to their Facebook page for further updates on how to get involved.