Following the phenomenal first ever Dundee Pride last year, we are back even bigger and better than before! This year, we move to a larger site at Slessor Gardens. Pride Day will take place on Saturday 21st September and will feature an extended Pride Parade as well as Pride Village at Slessor Gardens featuring lots of fun things to do, brilliant acts on the stage and Pride Market, featuring traders, charities and commercial groups.
Why do we need Pride events?
With the recent release of hate crime statistics for 2018-19 financial year, we can see a snap shot of equality, diversity and inclusion in Scotland through the lens of the criminal justice system. While Scotland saw a 9% decrease in hate crimes reported to the Procurator Fiscal Office, there were still 4914 hate crimes reported. The statistics do not include gender-based crimes and we know that most hate crimes do not get reported. So, despite the seemingly good news, there is still much to be concerned about for people with one or more protected characteristic especially in Dundee. Dundee saw a 15% increase in reported hate crimes.
Looking specifically at the rate of reported crimes based on sexual orientation, Dundee had an increase of 69%, from 29 reported cased the previous year to 49 cases in 2018/19. If we juxtapose this increase in reported crimes with the outpouring of support and acceptance demonstrated in Dundees first Pride in September 2018, something seems amiss. How could a city that saw an estimated 10,000 people enter City Square to celebrate its LGBT citizens have such a big jump in reported hate crimes? Perhaps the current political climate that seems to celebrate misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia has given permission to people holding such prejudices to act on them. Or perhaps such public support of LGBT people through Dundee Pride has empowered people to report these crimes rather than suffering in shame or in silence. Or perhaps our increased visibility has helped non-LGBT people to recognise such crimes and record them as such. We at Dundee Pride hope the increase in reported crime represents an increase in reporting rather than an increase in occurrences of hate crime. We think it is probably a combination of both.
Regardless of the reason for the increase, even one hate crime is too many. The statistics demonstrate that though LGBT equality has advanced greatly in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots, we still have a long way to go.
Given political events around the globe the statistics remind us that the advances made in equality for women, BAME people, disabled people, religious minorities and the LGBT communities are precarious and could be quickly reversed. The Pride movement continues to be needed today. We at Dundee Pride stand in solidarity with all of our sisters, brothers, and siblings from all backgrounds to push back against hate and work for equality. Its about time!
So, please consider making a donation. No matter how big or small, every penny goes towards staging Dundee Pride events and is hugely appreciated.