Mathew Hulbert | Columnist | 5 June 2023
WELCOME to Mathew on Monday. Today (5 June) marks the first Monday of Pride month.
Many of you will know about Pride month, but some may not. So, for the latter, Pride month takes every year in June and exists both to celebrate LGBT+ people and how far we’ve come on the road to equality, and also to call for us to go further… because none are equal until all are equal.
So, full disclosure here, I am an ‘out’ and proud gay man, and therefore a member of the wider LGBT+ community. I’m also an LGBT+ Rights Campaigner and have been prominent across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and beyond.
For a number of years I had the great privilege of being Chair of Trustees at the Leicester LGBT Centre, the leading LGBT+ charity in our city and two counties and the longest running centre of its kind in the country.
I’m currently the Independent Chair of Leicestershire Police’s LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group (IAG) and Independent Vice Chair of the County Council’s Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group (LECG), with a focus on LGBT+ rights, equality and representation.
In terms of our area specifically, I’m very proud to be one of the co-founders of the “True Colours – Hinckley and Bosworth” LGBT+ events partnership.
Led by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, we run events throughout the year marking, celebrating, and commemorating a number of important LGBT+ occasions, including LGBT+ History Month every February, and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia every May.
“So why are those occasions and, indeed, Pride month still so needed?”, you may ask. Because, sadly, discrimination against LGBT+ people, especially trans and non-binary individuals, still exists. We’re not all equal under the law.
On a daily basis, whether it be in traditional media or on social media, awful things are still spoken and written about LGBT+ people just because of who we are and who we love – and that is why Pride month, and Pride events – like the first ever Hinckley Pride, which takes place here in town on July 15th – are still so needed.
No one should face hate or discrimination just for being who they are. As long as there is breath in my body, I will speak up and out on behalf of full equality and dignity for all LGBT+ people.
I hope if you’re reading this and are not LGBT+, you’ll be an active ally in support of us, because it can’t just be left to those of us who are in the community to be part of this campaign, to fight this fight. Together we can defeat the forces of hate and win for the forces of love.
A very happy Pride to you all!