Pyro Productionz has a long-lasting legacy with Birmingham Pride, whether that is working alongside the LGBT Venues or providing services for surrounding organisations. It is not a surprise that our company has called upon our artistic union each year to attend and show support for this cause. This will now be Equity Unions 3rd year of attendance and we can assure you that we have been in numerous talks about what is in store for the coming years. Now that the wheels have truly started turning we will now start calling on surrounding groups ready for the march, and with the help from Equity funds, we will apply to make 2019 an event to remember.
We welcome you to Equity’s third annual Birmingham Pride March! The Birmingham Branches started working with Birmingham Pride March in 2016. This has now grown into a great success bringing together further partners and collaborations with surrounding theatre groups such as (Ourselves) Pyro Productionz, West Bromwich Operatics Society (WBOS), Young people from NCS, and further interest from surrounding organisations such as Sifa Fireside. Looks like we are gearing up for another successful year.
In the years to come we need you more than ever! This year we are looking to bring more of Equity Union members together for this event full of passion and joy. It is a chance to meet fellow members and new friends in an exciting and fun setting, also, a chance to network and just enjoy the day. The Birmingham Pride event has seen 21 years of events and has grown to the point of involving over 130 participating groups from corporations, banks, and high street brands.
To be apart of a historic legacy dating back to the late 60’s such as the Pride March is a great opportunity for the Midlands. The event derived from an incident which took place in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn where the LGBT+ community, suppressed, neglected and refused a license to sell alcohol due to their sexuality were forced to a breaking point. After Police stormed the Stonewall Inn the crowd acted against the display of unwarranted force in protest which resulted in an even larger display leading to a full riot by the community and residents alike.
This Establishment was one of the prime locations for LGBT+ people to meet, socialise, support one another, dance and even enjoy a show by one of the local drag artists. It also provided a safe space for runways and homeless LGBT+ youths, in which became a sacred meeting point that they could call home.
The Stonewall Riots made it clear that the LGBT+ Community needed to be more active in its approach towards this social injustice. One year later the community proposed an annual march on the last Saturday of June to commemorate the raid. The march was approved and Brenda Howard (Mother of Pride) organised the event which was originally called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, after. Not only did this turn into a week-long celebration, it later turned to Pride due to a comment made by an individual “gay individuals lacked real power to make change, but one thing they did have was pride.” – (L. Craig Shoonmaker – Allusionist Interview 2015)
We can definitely say that a lot has changed so far, to this day the LGBT+ community now have a whole month to represent awareness and community first presented on June 11, 1999, by President Bill Clinton, which was later enforced by President Barack Obama, who declared June as LGBT+ Month every year of his administration. (Now that’s commitment! Obama even went on to establish a 7.7 acre area around the re-opened Stonewall Inn)
“It’s important for the LGBT community to preserve the tradition of Pride, as it provides a time for everyone to come together and celebrate who they are. It’s a time where people can be themselves and be with people who support them. It’s a time to remember our history and how far we have come and look forward to all that we have to do. It’s a time to honour those who aren’t marching next to us. It’s a time for fun, joy, freedom and celebration. But, more than anything, it’s truly a time to be proud. It’s a time where people will encourage you to be your full, beautiful self and make sure you know that you don’t have to hide anything. You are surrounded by people who will support, protect and love you.”(Glatter, J (2016))
We hope that you will join us together unified for this event as it will mean so much for all the communities around the world whether fighting for the right to love or simply finding the confidence to hold hands in public without the fear of being judged. Every year is another step in the right direction and we hope you will march with us each and every time.
“Together we have the power to make a change, together we are proud to be human.”
Wezley J Guren