NUS-USI march for equality, to fight for the basic rights which everyone should have a right to. We march for protest, to stand in solidarity and send a message that we will never give up this fight.
We march for our family and friends. We march for love and we march to be a part of history, to join in a movement to create a brighter, better future for all people in Northern Ireland.
Every year tens of thousands of people descend on Belfast in early August to join in the most important time of the year for LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland: Pride. Last year the student movement had a huge presence, where students from across Northern Ireland were joined by students from across the United Kingdom and from the Republic of Ireland. This year we aim to be bigger and bolder than ever before, and you are invited to become part of this.
For those who are unsure what Pride is about, it’s important to note its history. In 1969 homosexuality was illegal across the world, and in June of that year after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York, the LGBT+ community had decided enough was enough. Having lived their lives in secret and even then being persecuted for it, figures such as Black Trans Woman Marsha P.Johnson fought back.
After a series of riots, the liberation movement was born, and in the following June of 1970 the first ever Pride was held. Ever since then there have been people fighting to end discrimination against LGBT+ people and make the world a more welcoming place.
In Northern Ireland, this fight rages on. Our basic human rights withheld from us, the LGBT+ community still faces many of the same problems those very same activists in 1969 did. This is why Pride is still a protest. When we are denied our right to marry, denied our right to donate blood to save those who we love, when LGBT+ mental health is at incredibly dire levels, when the healthcare of trans people consists of horrifyingly long waiting lists and obstacles, when LGBT+ people still to this day feel unsafe to show affection in public, that is how we know there is still a problem in our society.
So, NUS-USI invites you to take part in our march. Not only is this a great opportunity to meet familiar faces and rally side by side with your friends, this is also our chance to show our solidarity and support for the LGBT+ community. Whether you’re a union sabbatical officer, a member of your college’s leadership team, a university student or a college student, you are welcome. LGBT+ issues affect all of us, so stand with us on Saturday 4 August in Belfast and show your support.