The theme for Belfast Pride 2023 is Stand By Your Trans
For over 50 years the international pride movement has fought to increase visibility, awareness and support for LGBTQIA+ people while challenging hatred and intolerance in all its guises. Our movement is founded and rooted in shared ideas of challenging the binaries of gender, attraction and identity, inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations. Transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, sexism and misogyny are all rooted in the same ideology – and we cannot successfully end one without bringing an end to them all.
Belfast Pride and the Belfast Pride festival are unapologetically trans inclusive. Trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people have helped lead and shape not only the Pride movement, but the wider LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement, and are an integral part of our community and wider society. We believe trans, non-binary and gender- diverse people should be supported, accepted and celebrated within families, communities and across wider society.
In 2022-2023 the PSNI reported a 24% increase in the number of transphobic hate crimes in Northern Ireland, and research consistently shows a high level of under-reporting. Across the UK media and wider social media, we have seen an exponential increase in transphobia as well as homophobia, biphobia and sexism directed towards trans, non-binary and gender- diverse people and those who support them. The moral panic being expressed by those who oppose the rights and inclusion of trans, non-binary and gender diverse people and the presentation of LGBTQIA+ as dangerous – is nothing more than recycled homophobia from the past.
While there is almost daily media coverage of issues related to trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people, these communities are often excluded from debates about their identities, inclusion and rights. At Belfast Pride we seek to platform and amplify the voices of trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people and to share the true stories of people and families around inclusion, healthcare and human rights. Belfast Pride wants to support the entire LGBTQIA+ community and our allies in opposing transphobia, biphobia and homophobia in all its forms. We can all make meaningful contributions towards trans equality and together we can shape our world into one which celebrates diversity and difference away from one which fears it.