At Central Chambers, we are proud to stand as an ally and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. As we celebrate Pride Month this year, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equality in all aspects of our work and society.
Our Pride logo proudly displays the Progress Pride Flag, along with the Trans, Intersex, Bisexual, Pansexual, and Nonbinary flags. These symbols represent the beautiful spectrum of identities within the LGBTQIA+ community. The Progress Pride Flag, in particular, is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity, as it highlights the experiences of the most marginalised within our community. There are more flags, of course. Why? Because the community is a broad one. It is a community that recognises a kinship with others who are marginalised due to sexual orientation (including the demisexual and asexual folk) and gender identity.
We are proud to be the only chambers on the Northern Circuit to march as an organisation in Pride parades, a tradition we have upheld for years. This act of solidarity is a reflection of our inclusive culture and our unwavering support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Our unique LGBTQIA+ legal clinic has been a beacon of hope and support for many. We believe in providing a safe space where individuals can seek legal advice freely and without fear. Our clinic team is dedicated to ensuring that LGBTQIA+ individuals live without fear, have fair access to services, and are supported in their lives.
We stand firm in our belief that protection and recognition in all aspects of society are basic human rights. The rise in hate crimes and bigotry in the UK and elsewhere is a stark reminder of the challenges that still exist. We are committed to countering this tide of disinformation, hatred, ignorance, and aggression that threatens the LGBTQIA+ community.
In the face of these challenges, we refuse to be divided. We reject the notion of a “culture war” and instead choose to stand together, stronger and more united than ever. Intersectionality is crucially important to recognise. It is what brings unity and thusly safety and power and a voice. It is the antithesis of the division of dog-whistle politics.
As we observe Pride Month 2023, we also celebrate the joy, empowerment, and unity that it brings. We hope that everyone in our community and our allies find moments of joy and affirmation in these celebrations.
We wish that Pride Month was not necessary in 2023. However, the statistics and experiences of many in the LGBTQIA+ community tell us that it is. We stand with those who feel under siege, and we pledge to continue fighting for the rights and freedoms of all. Even in the UK’s LGBTQIA+ capital city of Manchester [pipe down, Brighton/Birmingham/”Londun”, is it?!], we have seen vandalism to monuments and businesses as well as violence, threatening behaviour, and vile abuse levelled at LGBTQIA+ people in the past year. We have also seen the tragic killing of trans teenager, Brianna Ghey in February of 2023 (proceedings are ongoing but there is no dispute that a child who should have been safe in her local park met her death after years of abuse over her gender-identity). Pride is relevant and necessary for so long as hate crime exists.
We know that’s all a bit of a downer and miles from the flags and music of the August Bank Holiday weekend that we all know and love but this month is about visibility. With that in mind, Happy Pride Month from all of us at Central Chambers. We stand with you, today and always.
Talking of the August Bank Holiday, we would like you to stand with us at Manchester Pride, this year. Whilst details are yet to be announced, we will be marching as always. We invite our instructing solicitors, courts and tribunals staff, and others (including members of other chambers) to join us for the march on the Saturday. To register your interest, drop us a quick email and we’ll be in touch when we are finalising the details.