As the message of Pride and equality continues to grow in many parts of the world, so too do the messages of hate.
Hey, are you the kind of person who has been caught saying “Pride doesn’t really matter” or “What’s the point in Pride now”?
It’s quite hard to ignore Pride in places like the UK and America in 2021. The high-street aesthetic of Pride is often more easily noticeable and presents like a big celebration that everyone’s on board with, right?
Every day, what you often don’t see on huge advertising campaign billboards, what often goes unnoticed or unreported, are attacks on the spirit of Pride by people who not only don’t want to support or engage with its message – they want to see it erased.
Over the weekend we posted (on our Instagram) a local LGBTQ bookshop in the North East of England who had repeatedly come into work to find their Pride Flag torn down and other Pride decorations defaced. This was just one example of a daily struggle for many independent business owners, who have to re-hang bunting or re-mast flags regularly.
On social media in recent days we’ve seen more acts of anti-LGBTQ aggression which have managed to garner some attention.
For the second time in less than a week, Pride flags flown in front of the city council building in Waterford, Ireland, were torn down and, in one incident, burned in an act of arson.
“A truly despicable act,” the mayor tweeted on Saturday:
Once again it’s my sad duty to report that the Pride Flags were cut down overnight and removed from the flagpoles on The Mall. A truly despicable act.— Mayor Damien Geoghegan (@damiengeoghegan) June 12, 2021
It’s now once again in the hands of the Gardai. pic.twitter.com/cJgTrWqyOv
Back where they belong! #Waterford #Pride2021 pic.twitter.com/bEv8fpeWkN— Mayor Damien Geoghegan (@damiengeoghegan) June 9, 2021
“Back where they belong!” Mayor Geoghegan wrote in a later post showing the flags had been re-hung.
Meanwhile Irish Drag queen and bar owner Panti Bliss took to Twitter, sharing an image of vandalism sprayed near the infamous Pantibar, where the words “pedo bar” had been sprayed with an arrow pointing to the venue.
This was painted on the building two doors up from Pantibar during the night pic.twitter.com/HoBo9glOuP— Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera (@PantiBliss) June 14, 2021
There is CCTV of the graffiti incident last night and it was very clearly planned and premeditated, rather than a spur of the moment thing.— Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera (@PantiBliss) June 14, 2021
Of course these are just a small handful of examples where the message of Pride is still being attacked daily and there are countless more to pull from.
The point being… is Pride still important? Yes. Is there still work to be done? Abso-frickin-lutley.
So let’s all make sure our celebrations in 2021 are as loud as the actions of those who would rather see us silenced.