The genius of Pride is the simplicity of the idea of equality of respect

Editorial: Fifty years on from the first Gay Pride rally in London, there are victories to celebrate and new challenges to tackle

<p>Celebrating Pride is not enough, but it is a start </p>

Celebrating Pride is not enough, but it is a start

The genius of Pride lies in the simplicity of the idea. When the UK’s first Gay Pride rally was held in London 50 years ago this month, people who rejected the heterosexual norm felt that they were expected to be ashamed of who they were. So they asserted their pride in themselves.

It was a hugely important step in the long metaphorical march towards equality of respect, and one which The Independent is in turn proud to support today.

That first rally was held five years after male homosexuality was partially decriminalised, in recognition that legal changes had to be accompanied by changes in popular attitudes if people were to feel equal. Those changes, to people’s views and to the law, did happen. Peter Tatchell, one of the marchers in 1972, has reflected in these pages: “Although there remain many injustices to overcome, our community has made huge strides towards freedom over the last five decades.” Those early Pride marches, visible celebrations of difference, helped to accelerate them, but looking back over the past half-century the rate of progress sometimes seems awfully slow. As Mr Tatchell writes: “None of these gains has been given to us on a plate. Every advance has been the hard-won result of determined campaigning. It took us 34 years to win an equal age of consent and 43 years to win marriage equality!”

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