Occasionally, I get asked why I attend Pride parades.
Pride was born out of the fight for equality, both equal rights and equal treatment. Even in just the LGBT sense, neither are universal yet.
Some regions are slowly introducing same sex marriage, protecting sexual orientation and gender identity from discrimination, but there are still 73 countries where it is illegal to be homosexual, and 12 US states (~25% of the population) where same sex marriage is not fully recognised.
Even where same sex marriage is legal, it doesn't necessarily mean there is legal equality. For example, the UK has different definitions and rules for same sex, and opposite sex marriages, and some churches are explicitly banned from performing same sex marriages. In the US, hospitals can refuse to recognise same sex partners, and insurance companies can exclude same sex partners from policies and claims. Various US states are repeatedly trying to make it illegal for transgender people to use public toilets, purely because of their identity.
We don't even have equal treatment from other Human beings with organisations like the Westboro Baptist Church calling for our eradication. The word gay is thrown around as a synonym for crap, rubbish, as an insult.
In the UK alone (in 2012), well over half of LGBT youth are subject to bullying and harassment, over 95% hear "gay" and other homophobic and transphobic language, and over 40% (really!) attempting or thinking about taking their own life. Those are very scary numbers!
Why do I do Pride?
I do Pride to make a change, to show that the world is getting better, you can be LGBT and happy, there are safe spaces and safe people, and I will continue doing Prides until we have full equality. In a world free from anti LGBT discrimination, abuse, hate crimes, even murder, Pride will no longer be needed. Only then.
Which brings us to...
Every time I wear my Scout uniform, every scout event I attend, I wear my rainbow FLAGS necker.
This is not only to show that I have pride in being who I am, a scout, a bisexual woman, a transgender woman, but that every young person can be just as proud in who they are.
I will be supportive to any young person that comes to me, regardless of whether they're LGBT or not.
My necker shows that it is OK for them to be themselves, and to be the best that they can be, free from harassment and bullying.
Even if just one LGBT young person is inspired by this, then it is all worth it. We are losing too many young people.
RIP to Leelah Alcorn, Taylor Alesana and the countless other LGBT young people we've lost so far.
Please let there be no more deaths :|
Will you show your pride?