‘Darling, I want my Gay Rights now.’
‘RightsNow’ is the theme for Belfast Pride this year and the inspiration for this comes from one of the key figures in the Stonewall uprising, pioneering Trans activist, Marsha P. Johnson, who was asked why she was protesting in favour of an Equal Rights bill and answered, matter of factly, “Darling, I want my Gay Rights now.”.
This year’s Belfast Pride will aim to highlight the rights that are still denied to us a community – Trans Healthcare Rights, Gender Recognition Rights, Fertility Rights, the right to inclusive RSE in schools, the right to be free from bullying, discrimination and harassment and the right to improved PREP access and Mental Health Services. We want to see the recent progress on Reproductive Rights and Marriage Equality turn in to real change.
Stonewall was a turning point for people who had just had enough and wanted the same basic rights as everyone else in society. The Pride movement grew from Stonewall and we will be marking the 50th anniversary of Stonewall by protesting for the rights denied to us while celebrating the lives and identities of LGBT+ people in Belfast, an important affirmation in an environment where many LGBT+ people state that they feel like second class citizens.
Belfast Pride tackles the denial of rights here head on with a 10 day festival with over 143 (and counting) events and a big weekend of protest and celebration that maximises LGBT+ visibility and invites the world to find out about what is happening here, to join the protest and celebration at this unique Pride. We are proud to bring you this year’s Official Belfast Pride Festival Guide.
Cover illustration of Marsha P. Johnson by Jamie Beard of UsFolk, Belfast.