The MPA celebrates Pride Month and Autistic Pride Day


Pride month (Thursday June 1st to Friday June 30th 2023) celebrates how far LGBTQIA+ rights have come and honours The Stonewall riots, which took place in 1969 in the US. These important protests changed gay rights across the world.

This month also celebrates Autistic Pride Day on 18th June, recognising Pride for people on the autism spectrum.
Please scroll down below to read about Autistic Pride Day, events and LGBTQIA+ success stories throughout the world.

What is Pride Month?

Pride Month is the coming together of people to show their love and support for the LGBTQIA+ community and also to commemorate when the Stonewall riots took place.
It is also about acceptance, equality, and education in LGBTQIA+ history, raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrating the work of LGBTQIA+ people.
Pride month calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be.

The History of Pride

In 1969, an uprising took place in the early hours of the morning in New York City, in a place called Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village, US. Police raided this bar and used extreme force and brutality to remove bar staff and patrons from the premises.
This sparked six days of riots between police, Patrons of the bar and neighbouring residents.
Raids were normal procedures back then and police often were tipped off on illegal activities taking place in bars and clubs. During the 60s, homosexual acts remained illegal in every state of America except Illinois, so any bar, clubs or restaurants serving gay patrons or having gay employees could get shut down by the police.
Although the Stonewall uprising did not start the gay rights movement, it was considered to be a trigger to the start of protests across the world and a push for LGBT political activism. This led to a number of gay rights organisations being created, including the Gay Liberation Front and Human Rights Campaign.

Pride Month in the UK

The first official Gay Pride Rally was held in London on 1st July 1972. The date chosen was the nearest Saturday closest to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969.
Branches of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) were already formed across the US and internationally inspired by the events of Stonewall. In the UK, two British Activists, Aubrey Walter and Bob Mellor travelled to the US and attended a convention which invited delegates from the women’s and LGBT+ movements for the first time. After attending this convention, both activists returned home to found the GLF London branch at the London School of Economics.
Although homosexuality had been partially decriminalised in the UK, thousands of men were still being convicted for various interactions. Unfortunately, at the time, there were no legal protections against discrimination based on sexuality.

The London Gay Liberation Front held their first meeting in Highbury Fields in October 1970 where the police had arrested Liberal activist Louis Eakes. Louis Eakes stated that he was ‘entrapped’ by the police for criminalising flirtatious behaviour such as winking.

Pride as we know it today started off as an act of protest, although rights for LGBTQIA+ people in Britain have expanded it is invaluable that celebrations continue in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Month in London

The colourful Pride in London Parade takes place this year on Saturday 1st July 2023 in Hyde Park. It is a free festivities event that brings together people from all diverse backgrounds, creating a harmonious togetherness.

Check the link below for further details and a general timetable of events taking place on the day.

Pride Month celebrations in the UK

List of events taking place
An extensive list of events, festivities and parades taking place around the UK has been accumulated by ‘The Pride Shop,’ where information and resources can be found for the upcoming Pride Month celebrations. They have created a Pride Calendar for various and numerous events taking place around the UK.

Check link below for all events taking place around the UK.

Why Pride events need to continue
Some people may assume that Pride events are not necessary nowadays, but it is still very important to organise events to support the LGBTQIA+ communities.

An informative website (see below for link), explains why there is still a need to continue such events and why it is vital to raise awareness of issues and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people.

Pride celebrations around the world

Pride Month will celebrate 53 years this June with the biggest Pride celebrations taking place all over the world. Many countries have already begun preparations for creating magnificent parades to show their love and support for the LGBTQIA+ communities.

1. Los Angeles June 12
L.A. is well known for going all out for their contribution and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. This year will see the annual L.A. Pride Festival and Parade, including the outdoor concert Pride in the Park. The parade alone will host approx 130 parade floats, numerous dancers and twirlers.

2. Tel Aviv June 10
Also known as the Gay Capital of the Middle East hosts the largest Pride event for a week. During the Pride week, pride flags fill the city with dance parties and fun festivities taking place all week long.

3. São Paulo June 19
The world’s largest Pride parade is actually celebrated in São Paulo and is considered one of the most popular events in the city attracting approx. 3 to 5 million visitors from around the world.
Festivities include flags, floats, a variety of costumes and music.

4. Madrid July 9
The annual Pride festival in Madrid is the largest Pride celebration in Europe with over nearly 2 million participants taking part each year.

5. Berlin July 23
The city celebrates Pride month with parades which feels more like an open-air street festival featuring a variety of DJs, ravers and performers.

6. Amsterdam August 6
The city unveiled a monument in 1987 dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ people who were persecuted during World War II. The monument forms a part of the ‘Gay tour’ of the city’s LGBTQIA+ history, with 300 other events taking place around the city and presenting 80 floats planned to be on the water in the city’s iconic canals.

7. Taipei October 29
Taiwan is the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage and is known to organise the largest Pride events in Asia. The annual Pride parade includes a host of fun-filled parties and festivals.

8. Sydney June 2 – June 30
A month-long celebration sees Sydney Pride Festival and the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (in February). The parade and party feature a number of eye-catching floats.

Check the link below for further information for Pride celebrations around the world.

Support for LGBTQIA+ people around the world

Global Human Rights is an organisation that works closely with LGBTQIA+ people across the world. They are known to stand up and fight for LGBTQIA+ equality.

  • Ensure access to health care provision, safety and security such as shelter
  • Continuously promoting Legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • Providing protection, support and resources within the labour force
  • Providing education and to raise awareness to build a positive and accepting communities
  • Free legal aid for LGBTQIA+ people facing discriminatory legal action

Check the link below for further information

A bit about Stonewall started their international program back in 2012 and through the years has expanded their network with campaigners in over 80 countries.
Stonewall have established as the leading voice on international LGBTQIA+ issues with the UK government and empowered human rights campaigners around the world to work with local organisations and fight for change.

Current initiatives

  • Supporting LGBTQIA+ Ukrainians
  • LGBTQIA+ Refugees
  • Global LBT+ Rights projects
  • Training and campaigning
  • Advocating
  • Blog
  • Resources
  • Equal workplaces, equal rights

Check below for further information.

LGBTQIA+ Highlights and Success Stories

There have been numerous success stories across the globe in support of LGBTQIA+ people. But more needs to done. Below lists a few articles sharing such exceptional changes.

  • First Transgender School opens in Lahore, Pakistan.

The school provides free education and training to empower Transgender persons in society.

  • India creates a groundbreaking free school for Transgender people.

The school provides education and training to the often marginalised transgender community.,the%20central%20state%20of%20Maharashtra.

  • Bangladesh opens first Transgender School in Dhaka.

The religious school, which is privately funded, will provide education free of charge for Transgender people.

  • Rachel Levine, first openly transgender federal official appointed as assistant secretary of health in the US.

  • 20 most famous Transgender people article (see link below), the influential work they have done and their contribution to society is a must-read.

What is Autistic Pride?

The first Autistic Pride was celebrated in Brazil by Aspies for Freedom (AFF) in 2005. Since then it has become a global event recognised by a rainbow infinity symbol, representing neurodiversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities. The most important feature is that all events are organised and set up by people on the spectrum and not by any charities.
The day is organised to raise awareness among persons who are not on the spectrum to see autistic people as unique individuals.

Autistic Pride stresses that autistic people are not sick but have unique set of characteristics which can be rewarding and challenging. Therefore, Autistic Pride Day aims to educate and raise awareness to the general public to end lack of knowledge involving the autistic community.

Why is Autistic Pride Needed?

Autistic Pride Day celebrates autism and the right of an autistic individual to live authentically. Below lists some reasons briefly explaining why Autistic Pride is important and very much needed.

  • Harassment by police

Assault and harassment of autistic people by the police, interpreting autistic behaviours as dangerous or life-threatening to the general public and/or the wider community.

  • Dangerous cures and therapies

The use of unethical treatments and non-medically approved therapies based on junk science or even demon exorcism to ‘cure’ autism.

  • Autistic masking

A strong need to disguise or hide being autistic because of the fear of being bullied, fired or passed over for promotion.

  • Stigma and pathologizing

Often given nicknames, scolded or chastised for expressing themselves in an ‘autistic way’ by their non-autistic peers.

  • Autistic rights and autonomy

Being locked away, restrained, sedated, and secluded in hospitals far away from home and hidden from the world.

  • Failures in public accessibility

Inaccessibility and lack of public spaces for autistic people.

  • Lack of representation in the media

Autistic people are often heavily stereotyped, hence, when a neurodivergent character is created in a play or drama, they are more likely to choose a neurotypical person.

For more information, please contact Helen in the DEI Team:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Champion of Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]

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