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Why Pride is still important

Image of a rainbow drawing with the SYP logo in front of the rainbow.
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1,580. That’s the number of aggravated sexual orientation based crimes charged between 2020 and 2021, according to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service [1].  With the exception of 2014-15, there has been an increase in numbers every year since 2010 when this kind of offence was created.

Yes, society is more accepting to same sex couples now. Yes, we have same sex marriage. Yes, we have same sex orientation. Yes, the new Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party deal has signalled an end to conversion therapy in Scotland [2]. However, LGBTQ+ people in Scotland are experiencing the highest number of aggravated hate crimes since records began.

Across the UK, two in five transgender people and three in ten non-binary people have experienced a hate crime or other incident due to their gender identity in the last 12 months [3].

Just because of the recent progress that has been made, we cannot pretend there are still not challenges for LGBTQ+ people in Scotland.

Most people in Scotland will have been witness to some form of abuse towards LGBTQ+ people. Whether this is a comment at a gay couple holding hands, the comments section of a pro-trans rights tweet, or anywhere else in society. As long as this continues, you know equality hasn’t been achieved.

Pride is a place for LGBTQ+ people to be themselves without the fear of what others are going to say or do. It’s a place where they can feel comfortable. It’s where they can be proud. It’s about showing the world you’re not scared to be who you are, and warning an un-accepting society that you’re not going anywhere and that they are the ones that need to change.

Pride events in Scotland are required to ensure we continue to grow and change as a society. They are at the heart of Scotland’s fight for equality.

Want to know more about the changes young people want to see to ensure LGBT+ are protected?

Check out our From Scotland’s Young People manifesto hub to read about our calls for a new self declaration model for gender recognition for those 16+, greater rights for nonbinary people and more funding to tackle LGBT bullying at schools.

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