by Katie Munday
Happy LGBTQIA+ Pride month!
Throughout the month of June parties and events are happening up and down the country celebrating all things queer. Last year saw the start of mass online Pride events, making them more accessible to disabled people and those with mental illness.
Many of these events gave people the ability to partake from home allowing them to access queer spaces in ways that better suit their needs. Online events were smaller and quieter and did not revolve around the usual loud partying and drinking. They also allowed people to engage with as much or as little as they wanted all from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Being online also allowed for the use of alternative text, screen readers and interpretive software, possibly making last year the most accessible of all Pride months.
Most Pride events this year shall again be online, hopefully improving on the accessibility efforts of last year. But what about Pride in 2022?
Well, London Pride has already improved its accessibility in past years. There is a quieter segment of the parade to help those of us with sensory issues and for those with service dogs. There are also viewing stages for wheelchair users and those who have issues seeing or engaging from a crowd. Other provisions include roaming BSL interpreters and accessible toilets. Similar services are present at other Pride parades and events, both big and small.
Why is accessibility so important?
Simply put, everyone should be able to engage in Pride in a safe and meaningful way. Disability access is especially important as there are an estimated 5 million LGBTQIA+ disabled people across the globe. We are a MASSIVE part of Pride, and our needs and interests should be considered.
There is no Pride without disability pride!