Pride month means different things to different people – that’s one of the many things that’s so great about it. For some it’s a protest, for others it’s a celebration, for many it is a timely reminder of the immense progress made and yet to make for LGBT+ people.
The trade union movement has an active role in continuing the fight for LGBT+ rights. As a union Community prides itself in being there for our members both at work and in their communities, recognising that something that impacts you outside of work can easily carry over into the workplace.
Throughout society, progress on LGBT+ rights is stalling. Hate crime against LGBT+ people has risen sharply in the last few years. Key legislative reforms, such as the banning of conversion therapy, are continually kicked into the long grass.
In the workplace, despite considerable progress, many still face discrimination or have to hide their sexuality or gender identity. Almost one in five LGBT+ staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they’re LGBT+. More than a third have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT+ at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but nobody should face prejudice or discrimination based on who they are or who they love. As a union, we will continually advocate for this for our members.
This Pride month will feel very different to last year. With lockdown easing, we finally get to have some of our freedoms back. The freedom to celebrate with our families or our chosen families, to bond and be with our communities.
As we get closer to the point where there are no legal restrictions remaining, it gives us a chance to reflect on what kind of future we want. Do we accept that we return to the pre-pandemic reality? Or do we try to build something newer and better for Britain’s workers?
For Pride month in 2021, we’re presented with an opportunity to think about how that future may look for LGBT+ people. At Community we recognise that we haven’t achieved true equality or empowerment for workers until we’ve achieved it for everyone.
For all of our LGBT+ members, we remain by your side. We need to build a future that is right for LGBT+ people, both at work and in wider society. This Pride month, we redouble our commitment to fight for that reality.
Have a safe and enjoyable Pride month to all!