By Amanda Johnson, Inclusion Advisor
Pride is one of my favourite times of year and this summer has been an incredible couple of months, packed with #PrideInCoop celebrations.
What I loved most is how everyone came together to celebrate love, life and each other. It’s such a special time where people from many different backgrounds, cultures and identities join up and celebrate one another and how far we’ve come.
Over the summer, Co-op joined Pride events up and down the UK, including Brighton, London, Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester, bringing colleagues together to celebrate all things Pride!
The Manchester Pride parade
This is the second year I’ve been involved in organising our Manchester Pride parade entry. I worked closely alongside Nicky Wild from our Trade Planning team, and Ben Brosnan who’s co-chair of our Respect colleague network.
There’s so much involvement in making the day a success, from arranging licence applications, to rallying round volunteers to proudly march with us, and ordering Co-op goodies to hand out. But the hard work paid off, I’m so pleased that this year’s Prides have been so successful.
Being part of the parade with my daughter was particularly special. We were both filled with emotion seeing how many people lined the streets of Manchester to support the LGBT+ community. It was truly amazing.
I felt so much love and pride for all of my colleagues, friends and the millions of people who deserve to be proud of who they are.
LGBT+ rights movement
Pride is always important to us, but this year was particularly important as it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In June 1969, after years of oppression and mistreatment, LGBT+ people stood up against discrimination and so began the LGBT+ rights movement.
We must remember that being in a same sex relationship is still illegal in 72 countries and punishable by death in eight of those. This is why celebrating Pride together, loud and proud, must continue.
Being a straight ally to the LGBT+ community
We still have a long way to go for equality. As a proud straight ally to the LGBT+ community, I want to reinforce the importance of inclusion, and remind everyone that acceptance and spreading kindness helps build a better and more equal world for everyone.
And if you feel as passionate about LGBT+ equality as I do, I hope you’ll spend a few minutes to take part in our Stonewall Workplace Equality Index survey and share your thoughts on LGBT+ equality in Co-op – just enter the code 1621 to take part.