The first Pride was a revolt by Black and Brown, trans and queer people against state-sanctioned racism and queerphobia. This is why police, immigration enforcement officials and any kind of oppressive institutions must not be welcomed at Pride, for the safety of Black, Brown, migratised, undocumented and queer communities.
We can clearly see how migrant, racialised and queer communities are all painted as an inherent “unassimilable” “threat” to the so-called Western way of life, and how these attacks against multiple marginalised groups have come to be a defining feature of the far-right. This can perhaps embolden us to continue to build bonds between different marginalised groups, since our struggles are all intertwined.
Borders will always exclude those not deemed worthy enough, whether they be queer, racialised, migratised or otherwise. This is why solidarity is so important. Our politics must be intersectional: single-issue politics are an injustice to all marginalised people.
At a time when the Home Secretary has bashed the left for being “ashamed of our history”, it is worthwhile remembering which histories we should be proud of: histories of resistance by marginalised groups. But it is also worth remembering the shameful parts of our history: colonialism and its homophobic legacy. There is NO Pride in that.
Racialised and migratised communities have ALWAYS been at the forefront of queer liberation. They have always resisted border violence, gentrification, police brutality and surveillance. It is imperative to remember these beautifully powerful histories of queerness, and to honour them everyday. We can do this by understanding that queerness, race and class are interconnected, and always have been. Only through intersectionality can we understand the systems of oppression that shape the way the State and society treat people seeking safety or a new life.