Equality & Inclusion Past Events

Plymouth Pride 2017

Regional Women's Conference 8 March 2017 - International Women's Day

      

Young Members November 2016

Cornwall Pride 27 August 2016

    

Plymouth Pride 13 August 2016                     

   

Pride Cymru 13 August 2016

      

Pride Bristol on 9 July 2016

      

Cardiff hosted the National Equality Conference from 29 February to 2 March 2016     

         

Events 

      

      

International Women's Day - 8 March 

For information, the earliest Women's Day observance was held on 28 February, 1909, in New York. It was organised by the Socialist party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Worker's Union.There was no specific strike happening on 8 March, despite later claims.

Although there were some women-led strikes, marches, and other protests in the years leading up to 1914, none of them happened on 8 March. In 1914 International Women's Day was held on 8 March, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on 8 March in all countries. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women's right to vote, which German women did not win until 1918.

In London there was a march from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of women's suffrage on 8 March, 1914. Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square.

From its official adoption in Russia following the Soviet Revolution in 1917 the holiday was predominantly celebrated in communist and socialist countries. It was celebrated by the communists in China from 1922, and by Spanish communists from 1936. After the founding of the People's Republic of China on 1 October, 1949 the state council proclaimed on 23 December that 8 March would be made an official holiday with women in China given a half-day off.

In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim 8 March as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace. But women of Eastern European origins in North America were celebrating International Women's Day decades earlier than that. During World War II, some Western countries marked the date with an emphasis on women's contributions to the war effort and to the defeat of Fascism.

The Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag is the symbol of the modern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGBT+) movement – a bright, flamboyant, mixture of colours that represents our eclectic, exuberant and diverse community – that is held high and carried through Pride celebrations all over the world every year. But what does it mean to us?

The eight colours of the original Rainbow flag all represented something. In 1978 the creator of the Rainbow Flag, Gilbert Baker, visited the Paramount Flag Company to mass-produce the flag who went on to produce a seven colour flag due to hot pink not being a readily available in fabrics. The following year during the Gay Freedom Day Parade Indigo was cut so that three colours could be displayed on either side of the streets, so thus the modern six-coloured Rainbow Flag was created. 

“A true flag cannot be designed — it has to be torn from the soul of the people.”

Hot pink stands for sexuality. It is estimated that between 500 and 1,500 different species exhibit homosexual or bisexual behavior. In one study, 10% of male sheep “refused” to mate with females but “readily mated” with other males. The story of the same-sex father penguins in Edinburgh zoo hit the headlines in 2009 and some scientists argue that bisexual behavior in animals ultimately supports their evolution and the reproduction of species in the long-run. But homophobia only exists in one species – humans.

Red is for life. Homosexuality is illegal in over 70 countries and carries Life Imprisonment or the Death Penalty in 10 countries. In Russia same-sex couples can’t “promote” their lifestyle in under 18 years old, because they are not “valid” or “traditional”, and homosexual people cannot even enter some countries.

Orange is for healing. In 1969 police stormed a gay bar in New York sparking the Stonewall Riots; an iconic moment in the LGBT Rights Movement, which saw the police attack and arrest many patrons trying to enjoy their evening. In 2016 police also entered a gay club in the “largest terror attack since 9/11” when a gunman killed 49 and wounded 53 people in Pulse; a gay club in Orlando, Florida which was holding a Latino event on a Saturday night. Police arrived, killed the gunman, and began to rescue and repair the victims. This attack on the LGBT and Latino community was felt globally, including in Cardiff, where a vigil was held and landmarks all across the world were lit in rainbow colours.

Yellow is for the sun. A light in the dark, this week LGBT Ugandans and Jamaicans refused to hide in the shadows when they held their Pride celebrations, marched in pageants and gathered their colours - but they paid the price - In a country like Uganda where gay people face 14 years or more in prison, police stormed the event, attacked the patrons, carried out sexual assaults and drove people back to the shadows to hide for their safety. They can’t go home.

Green is for nature. Love is the most natural human condition, but we have to learn to hate, we have to be taught.  In the way we divide ourselves using borders we divide ourselves using labels – them vs us. East and West. As long as people think they are right and you are wrong they can justify any behaviour.

Blue is for art. There’s a real art in modifying the tiny little gestures and inflections to not attract any attention to you, but there’s no beauty in it. In our pursuit to blend in we are losing the beauty of diversity that defines us. We marvel at the difference in plants and animals and colours and smells and tastes in this world while systematically stubbing it out in our peers, colleagues and friends. Maybe “Gay” is uncomfortable, but if art is not that then what is it?

Indigo is for harmony. It takes time to listen to each other and speak as one; there will be hecklers and critics, but through harmony with each other and the world around us, we can weave a melody that serenades the world. 

Violet is for Spirit. They say you should not wait until you are old to wear purple – well many do not get the chance. The suicide rates for LGB teens are double that of their straight peers and for Trans* teenagers it is four times higher. On October 17th each year the LGBT community wears purple to remember those who took their own lives, and to renew our pledge to keep on fighting so that no more lives are lost due to ignorance, prejudice and fear.

So, what are we proud of? I can’t answer that for everyone, but I’m proud to be a part of this colourful journey down a long, winding road.

To finish off all I would ask is this - this year and every year please hold up your rainbow flags during every Pride event; paint them on your face, wear a badge, a scarf, a pin, anything! But don’t just hold it in your hand; hold it in your heart. Remember all the sacrifice that went into those colours, celebrate your life and make a promise to all those that came before you that you will show your colours every day.

The lasting message of the Rainbow Flag for me is about working together to spread hope and acceptance to all, because love will always win.

And as RuPaul always says…..

“It all goes back to the first moment of the first flag back in 1978 for me. Raising it up and seeing it there blowing in the wind for everyone to see. It completely astounded me that people just got it, in an instant like a bolt of lightning – that this was their flag. It belonged to all of us.” – Gilbert Baker.