The news we watch on our TVs or read about on our news apps has taken quite the turn over the last few weeks. Protests have now become an everyday topic, preaching messages which are still needing to be heard.
One ongoing fight that mustn’t get lost in the wave of news is the fight for equality, awareness and understanding of the Pride community.
We have spent the last few days educating ourselves on the origins of the movement and its importance in today’s society. With one of our biggest projects of the year being York Fashion Week, we look up to the Pride movement as an inspiration that influences many aspects of the work we provide. We find it to be extremely important to have an understanding of the LGBTQ+ culture and to recognise the history of the movement.
The Pride movement originates back to the late sixties as the 1969 Stonewall Riots are what initiated the desire of having an organisation which stood up for the rights of individuals which identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transvestite. The riots began after New York police raided a well-known gay club, the Stonewall Inn, which led to six days of protests and violent conflicts with law enforcement.
A key figure who stood up to represent the LGBTQ+ community was Marsha P. Johnson who not only partook in the Stonewall Riots as an African American transgender activist and pioneer but also went on to found STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). Due to the courageousness, confidence and support of Johnson, the first inaugural Pride march took place in New York City with around 5000 marchers in support of the movement.
Today, New York Pride is still one of the largest events the city oversees every year. However not with 5000 marchers, but with around 1 million. It’s an opportunity for people to feel empowered in their own skin, or for some to even step out of their comfort zone. Peaceful protests run through the streets of our largest cities to dispute the struggles that face the LGBTQ+ community. However, marches often become festivals, with individuals from all backgrounds celebrating the uniqueness, audaciousness and community strength of the Pride culture. Despite the current pandemic, the spirit of pride isn’t suppressed that easily as we are seeing a wave of digital pride celebrations taking place as a safer alternative.
Here at NIMA, we are lucky enough to find ourselves working amongst a diverse group of people and businesses from around the world. We come to work every day feeling inspired by the work of our clients and the creatives we surround ourselves with.
Year after year we continue to learn about Pride and endeavour to understand the issues which the movement still experiences today. We are consistently educating ourselves on the matters which are misunderstood and under-acknowledged in society, as it is essential for us to recognise all aspects of the world around us, the good, the bad and the ugly. This approach allows us to adapt our ways of working to suit the ever-changing culture and society we work in today.
We hold the greatest respect for those fighting to make a difference in the LGBTQ+ community and we will continue to play our role in supporting Pride in every way we can.
written by Lauren Dodds, Operations Manager.