Equality and Diversity highlights from last week: World Pride celebrates its 40th anniversary in London – while sceptics argue that the Pride march has lost its meaning over the last four decades, supporters believe it is still a much needed protest; US journalist Anderson Cooper officially came out recently – he explains why coming out in the workplace is important; and, if you’re an unemployed ethnic minority woman, get in touch with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community for its inquiry into ethnic minority female unemployment.
Last weekend was World Pride in London. This year, the Pride march celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in the capital. The prime minister, David Cameron, said: “The UK has been judged to be the best country in Europe in which to live if you’re gay so it is great that World Pride is being celebrated here in London – especially during this diamond jubilee and Olympic year.”
The Pride march had its sceptics too – an editorial on the LGBT news website PinkNews questioned the usefulness of World Pride, arguing that it has become commercialised and entrenches the idea that LGBT people are ‘sex-crazed deviants’. John Peart, LSESU LGBT Officer, however doesn’t agree with this approach, “We must not forget what Pride is designed to do; it’s a protest…A protest for a future where we, as a community, are equals with the rest of the world. It’s about showing the world that some people are different, about celebrating those differences and, despite some people’s reluctance to accept the concept, the entire point is to ‘wave it in people’s faces’.”
Speaking of LGBT rights, Anderson Cooper, one of the biggest names in US TV journalism, recently confirmed that he is gay. This announcement of his sexuality raises the question of whether it matters if you are ‘officially’ out at work. Cooper believes that it’s important to come out: “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted.” Also, many LGBT people might feel the pressure to keep their private life extremely private at work (or resort to switching pronouns, concealing details etc.) and this can be detrimental to both the company and the employee.
Are you an ethnic minority woman experiencing unemployment? The All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community has opened its inquiry into ethnic minority female unemployment. The inquiry, led by group chair David Lammy MP, will attempt to determine why 20.5% of Pakistani/Bangladeshi women and 17.7% of Black women are unemployed compared to only 6.8% of White women. It will also seek to find ways to reduce these inequalities. The Group is looking for submissions from charities, businesses, social enterprises etc. They are also keen to hear from ethnic minority women who are experiencing unemployment, so get in touch.
Have anything to add? Write to Equality.and.Diversity@lse.ac.uk.