Stonewall meeting (From IMG_0109-0121) (3)

Back in 1989, Section 28 had just been passed, effectively banning conversations about same-sex relationships in school, forcing LGBT teachers into the closet or out of a job and scarring a generation of young LGBT people. 

Stonewall was created to fight this discrimination. 

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Over the past 30 years the organisation has made a big difference to the lives of LGBT people here and around the world. In the UK, the LGBT movement has won employment rights. Parenting rights. Partnership rights. An equal age of consent. 

There’s lots for to celebrate – but also lots to do before Stonewall achieves its mission of acceptance without exception. 

Find out more about Stonewall’s 30th at stonewall.org.uk/30, and here James Bolton, the charity’s head of policy, talks Pride Season, achievements and the continuing fight for equality.  

Pride. 

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Pride Season is an important time for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from all backgrounds to come together and celebrate the LGBT community, as well as the enormous progress we’ve made towards equality.  

It is also a crucial opportunity to reflect on the history of the movement and look ahead to the future. This year, Stonewall is celebrating its 30th birthday and we’ll be attending over 30 Prides across Britain to mark this.  

2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, and it’s important we take the time to give thanks to the people who led that and created the modern LGBT movement we know now. Many of those people were part of groups who continue to exist at the margins of our community and in society, and for whom Pride isn’t yet a celebration but an act of defiance. 

How far we’ve come.  

Stonewall was founded in response to Section 28, the harmful legislation which stopped teachers and schools ‘promoting homosexuality’. Life was very different for LGBT people 30 years ago – you could lose your job for being openly lesbian, gay or bi, you couldn’t marry or have children, and you couldn’t serve in the military. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way, and LGBT people today are able to do all these things, but equality is fragile and we can’t become complacent.  

Work still to do. 

The divisive debates we’re seeing today in the streets and in the media around trans rights are toxic, mirroring the kind of hateful language those who grew up under Section 28 will remember. It’s worrying to see the backlash towards LGBT inclusive education, and debates about whether or not we should teach children to be accepting of one another. We have lots to be proud of, but the fight for equality is far from over. That’s why it’s so important that we work together to build a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception. 

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