A DENT TO OUR PRIDE, BUT WE STILL HAVE REASONS TO BE HOPEFUL
Despite everything Covid could throw at us and the difficulties faced by the LGBTQ+ community over the past 18 months, we still have reason to celebrate.
It goes without saying that the pandemic hit communities across Greater Manchester hard; the economic impact and health outcomes across our region were disproportionately affected and were among the hardest-hit in the country.
And it was no different for the region’s LGBTQ+ community in and around Greater Manchester. Aside from the immediate impact the pandemic had on all our lives and livelihoods, 55% of the LGBTQ+ community reported increased stress and pressures, three quarters reported feelings of isolation had worsened, and 80% felt more lonely as a result of the pandemic.
That’s why it was vital for us to adapt over the past 18 months, to continue to advocate for the community and fight for equality, despite the testing times. Although it was undoubtedly a tough year, our report for 2020 highlights the vital role the charity and our community played in coming together to support one another to deliver initiatives with impact. It’s something we should all reflect on and celebrate.
A key event for raising awareness and advocating for issues within our community is the Manchester Pride Festival. Postponing the festival in 2020 resulted in a £2.5 million hit to our income, which meant we had to take some tough decisions to ensure we were able to keep going. We were also hit with a 92% decrease in donations (£114k in 2019 vs £9k in 2020). Despite all of this, we were able to remain afloat, diversify our events schedule, support third party groups with £100k worth of funding and continue to make a tangible impact campaigning for equality.
We hosted free events online throughout the year, such as Superbia, Family Pride MCR, Youth Pride MCR, Gay Village Party and The Candlelit Vigil. We also created new initiatives to bring the community together, such as the Digital Manchester Pride Conference. With a third of LGBTQ+ employees reporting that they hide their authentic selves at work for fear of discrimination, we brought together businesses from across the city for this event to find out how they can make their workplaces more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community.
From reflecting and celebrating, to looking forward to our next chapter...
Manchester Pride Festival is an essential way for us to continue to advocate for LGBTQ+ issues and to push for greater equality for our community. The levels of support we received during the pandemic were phenomenal and 2021 was a massively improved year.
But as we look towards 2022 and beyond, we want to engage with the community to hear your insights and opinions as to how we look forward and plan for the future. We’re looking forward to doing just that through our consultation process, details of which will be announced early October.
To keep up to date with the consultation period and to find out more about Manchester Pride, follow us on Twitter and click below to read our 2020 Annual Review and Accounts.