This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!
What’s your name, age and where do you come from?
I’m Julie, soon to be 27, from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.
Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?
I love writing and think it’s a great opportunity to share ideas and get creative with lots of other really interesting, diverse women.
What do you write about?
I plan to write comment pieces on LGBT+ rights, current affairs and anything else that gets me thinking. I also enjoy writing a good open letter.
What do you do in real life?
I work in a university students’ association, supporting elected officers with all aspects of student representation.
Why is Pride important to you?
For me, Pride is still, first and foremost, a protest. It’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come but also to highlight that we’ve a long way still to go. Until LGBT+ people are not only equal in the eyes of the law but also of society, both in the UK but worldwide, Pride is still necessary as a form of political protest.
What is your best and worst part of pride?
The best part of Pride for me is seeing everyone coming together and celebrating how proud they are to be themselves; whatever that may be. The worst part is the vibe I get that Pride belongs to those who hang around on the scene every week. Pride belongs to everyone and, whether you go for the protest, the party or a bit of both, every single person should feel like they are included and belong there.
What’s your must-have item for Pride?
The biggest rainbow flag I can find!
If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?
This year I’ll be carrying a Russian flag along with my rainbow one instead of a placard. Last year Moscow banned Pride for 100 years and things are pretty grim for LGBT Russians right now so I want to acknowledge that. If anyone can think of a catchy slogan for my flag, let me know!
At night-time I might chill out a bit and go for the tried and tested “I’m here, I’m queer, who’s buying me a beer?”
What’s you Pride soundtrack?
Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Best ever Pride you’ve been to?
Funnily enough, I’ve only been to Pride once before; also in Glasgow. I always seem to be out the country when it’s on. That was a few years ago and I just walked around taking everything in and bagged freebies from the stalls, but this year I hope to get more involved with everything that’s going on.
What are you proud of?
First and foremost I am proud of who I am. Gay/lesbian/queer, whatever you want to call it, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wish my 13-year-old self could see me now! This really comes down to having amazing family and friends who have always supported me, so I’m super proud of all of them too.
I am also proud to do my bit to stand up against inequality and injustice wherever I find it. Last year I wrote an open letter to a couple who delivered a petition against equal marriage to Downing Street and, thanks to a few celebrity re-tweets (including Stephen Fry!), it was read over 55,000 times in a week. And just last week I noticed that the International Olympic Committee’s social media guidelines said that “that’s so gay” was acceptable language. I challenged them about it on Twitter, got lots of LGBT groups involved, and within four hours they changed their policy. These are just two small actions, but I believe that if everyone stands up for what they believe in rather than waiting for someone else to do it, we can all change the world.