The Belfast Pride Festival has been running from Friday 21 July through to Sunday 30 July, with the focal point being the Belfast Pride Parade on Saturday. The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Stand By Your Trans’.
The South Belfast MLA has said: “Year on year, Belfast Pride is always a highlight in our local social calendar that many people look forward to, and I want to wish everyone that has been or will be out celebrating a happy Pride.
“Not only is Pride an opportunity for us to look back and celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight for true equality, respect, and recognition for all, but also take stock of how far we still have to go and the ways in which we risk taking steps backwards as a society.
“Shamefully, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are on the rise, with transgender people particularly vulnerable due to the harmful rhetoric we’re seeing be perpetuated about their lives, and relentless negative stereotyping around their identities. The attitudes that lead to these incidents need to be called out and tackled robustly and consistently right from the very start, and the theme of this year’s festival couldn’t be more appropriate.
“We all have our part to play, but as lawmakers we have a particular responsibility to stand up for those who are marginalised and facing prejudice in our communities, provide them the platform to talk about their own lived experiences, and then advocate for them as best we can to help improve their situation. It’s the bare minimum that people should expect.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe, recognised, and respected where they live, and Alliance will always stand in unequivocal solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. We will continue to fight all forms of discrimination, work to advance progressive change here in Northern Ireland, and promote true equality for all across our society.
“I’m so excited to get down to the parade on Saturday to show my support alongside party colleagues and friends, and would encourage anyone interested to come down as well and join in the festivities.”