What is Pride?

As a charity, WAY Widowed and Young is proud to support Pride events across the country – as well as showing that this is support out there for members of the LGBTQIA+ community who have lost their life partner.

WAY Pride swan

WAY provides peer-to-peer emotional and practical support to ALL young widowed people – married or not, with or without children, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender, race and religion. We have a subgroup of LGBTQ+ members who share their experiences and arrange meet ups and we also have a diversity working group that is looking at ways to make sure more people in the LGBTQIA+ community are aware of WAY’s peer support network.

London is the biggest Pride event in the UK, with an estimated 1.5 million people attending the parade. Many other large towns and cities have mainstream Pride parades and events. And we’re encouraging WAY members to go along to their local event and help reach out to other young widowed people in the LGBTQIA+ community.

The first ever Pride march was held in London in 1972, with 2,000 people attending. Scotland’s first large-scale Pride event was in Edinburgh in 1995, whilst Birmingham Pride was launched in 1997. 

The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way 

Homosexuality was not decriminalised in the UK until 1967, and Section 28 of the Local Government Act (which prohibited schools from portraying ‘the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’) was not repealed in England & Wales until 2003. 

Thankfully there have been great strides in LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK since then. 

But if you’re going along to a Pride event this year, remember the rights and freedoms that early Pride protesters fought for can’t be taken for granted. Extreme right-wing views are becoming normalised, there is a wave of anti-trans sentiment in the press and politics, and there are still over 60 countries around the world where it’s illegal to be gay.

Hear from WAY’s Chair Jo, who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community.