With relative equality now enjoyed by LGBTQ people in the UK, what is the importance of celebrating London Pride? Has it just become a hedonistic street party? Francois Lubbe and Shiraaz Chaim Sidat of HotSaltBeef&Mustard took to the streets to ask members of the Jewish LGBT community how they feel.
Rabbi Ariel J Friedlander:
“I Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Pride is my LGBTQ Rosh Hashanah — a day to celebrate together, to catch up with old friends and make new ones; a day to mingle with those one may otherwise never meet. A couple of years ago the Jewish and Muslim groups accidentally agreed to meet up at the same coffee shop. We got talking and they hung one of our T-shirts on their bus during the parade.
When the English Defence League threatened, they came to us and asked if we would join together to face the haters. We did! Last year, sporting a Magen David and a kippa, I marched with Imaan. Seeing us put aside our differences and work together gives me great hope!”
- Peggy Sherwood, Retired Children’s Nurse:
“Pride to me personally means diversity, equality and a genuine sense of pride of who I am — an out proud Jewish Lesbian… and combining those two bits of me is the best bit.
There is definitely a need for a Pride march because sadly some members of our community still don’t recognise us — not only our community but in life in general.”
- Maurice Ticciati, Finance Consultant:
“I’m going to pride this year as I’ve done every year. To me pride is mostly a day of celebration of difference and individuality, to celebrate that it’s ok to be different. There still is a need for Pride today, as always, if not for here, then to keep people aware that equal rights are missing in a lot of countries.”
- David Rubin, Retired Head of Modern Languages:
“I will be going to Pride but on the march only as the get-together in Trafalgar Square is not as good as it used to be years ago. Pride means less than it used to, but I still think it is essential to make a statement and show our presence… We cannot become complacent as homophobia is still widespread.
“The participation in the march of the Police, the Fire Brigade and the Armed Forces, all still very reactionary bodies, is both moving and important and I admire the courage of these individuals to come out publicly.”
- Dave Shaw, Marketing Manager & Co Chair for Keshet UK:
“I will indeed be going to London Pride this year. For me it’s important to remember that there is still homophobia in the Jewish community and Anti- Semitism in the LGBT community and many people cannot live peacefully whilst these forces are still vocal. I also think it’s important to remember that although London Pride is generally a big party nowadays, there are still injustices to address.”
- Evey Sugarman:
“I will be heading to London pride this year, hopefully representing the Young Jewish Lesbians Group. The means a lot to me because it’s the one time of year we can all come together as a community to celebrate and raise awareness of different lifestyles.
“There certainly still is a need for a Pride march, not just for the purpose of creating visibility in London and the UK but to represent our brothers and sisters around the globe who still might be living in fear of being persecuted because of their sexuality.”
- Hershey Streisand:
“For me Pride is the revolution of sexual diversity where all of us must have the equality in rights. I believe that the annual Pride march is not all about the lavish floats, extravagant costumes and loud music but also a reminder that we should appreciate each other’s differences.”
- Dani Neumann:
“There is still unfortunately a need to try and change hearts and minds and show that gay people are no different than other people.
“I am a disabled, wheelchair-using, dyslexic, bisexual Jew. I have been homeless and lived\live below the poverty line. I am part of many different minority’s and I know what it’s like to have people hate you and say offensive or just stupid ignorant things for no other reason than for who and what you are. It hurts and it makes you angry. All minorities should be able to celebrate and share their culture… Pride is a wonderful thing: it’s not just about politics and protesting – it’s about celebrating.”
- Alma Reisel, Trainee Social Worker:
“I think of Pride as an opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of the LGBT community and raise awareness of what still needs to be done more broadly in society to achieve full equality. There is still a huge value in Pride, and I think that for young people struggling with their identity, the celebratory tone of Pride can be a transformative thing to experience.”
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