Manchester Pride today announced that the theme for the 2020 Manchester Pride Parade on Saturday 29th August will be March for Peace, as the LGBTQ+ charity shares it’s vision for peace in a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice.
Manchester Pride is calling on the community and its allies to come together, respect the labels, embrace differences, and to recognise that everyone deserves the right to be who they are and live their lives in peace.
During the summer of 1967, thousands of flower children streamed across America searching for peace. Many members of the LGBTQ+ communities saw the developments of that time as guiding the way to greater liberation, however, over 50 years later the community – both globally and here at home in the UK – must continue its fight for equal rights.
While LGBTQ+ people have achieved so much since then, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have more than doubled over the last five years, with many people still facing discrimination because of their identity.
More than half of all black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people have reported experiencing discrimination or poor treatment within their local LGBTQ+ network because of their ethnicity and almost half of trans people have attempted suicide at least once and 84% have thought about it.
A quarter of homeless people identify as LGBTQ+, with 77% of these citing coming out to their parents as the reason for them being made homeless.
With this in mind the charity has this year chosen to March for Peace, with its message loud and clear: no one is free until we are all free, and no one gets left behind.
Manchester Pride is committed to creating opportunities to engage LGBTQ+ people so that they can thrive and the Parade is a vital part of the charity’s community engagement programme. It provides an opportunity for community members to not only connect with Manchester Pride but also with each other and create lasting relationships, in turn, reducing social isolation.
It is committed to ensuring that Manchester Pride’s Parade entry is diverse, inclusive and representative of the whole LGBTQ+ community. The charity will hold a number of listening groups and workshops throughout the year for LGBTQ+ people to discover how they can get involved and lead the March For Peace with the charity. Information as to how to get involved can be found at www.manchesterpride.com.
Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said: “Every year I am asked do we still need a Pride celebration and every year I say yes we do. Statistics show us that more than half of all black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people have reported experiencing discrimination or poor treatment within their local LGBTQ+ network because of their ethnicity and whilst we have certainly made great leaps in our mission to rid the world of discrimination it isn’t yet an even playing field.
“We must support every single member of every single LGBTQ+ community and fight until they feel equal and free to be themselves. This is why this year we will March For Peace as we ask the world to recognise that the fight has only just begun.”
The Parade, which was bigger than ever before in 2019, with just over 17,000 participants in floats and walking entries from businesses and community groups across the region, is one of the festival’s most highly anticipated events. Thousands of people march proudly together through the streets of Manchester in front of an estimated 250,000 supporters cheering them along the way.
With organisations taking part last year including Greater Manchester Police, the fire service, local businesses, charities and the stars of Coronation Street, there will certainly be lots to see.
The Manchester Pride Parade starts on Liverpool Road, passing by the Town Hall and the Gay Village before finishing on Whitworth Street. In recent years it has been led by some of the most prominent faces in the LGBT+ world including Orange Is The New Black actress Lea DeLaria, national treasure Sir Ian McKellen and Manchester’s first out Lord Mayor, Carl Austin-Behan.