The fight towards equality is a long one and we all owe a huge debt to the activists and campaigners who have fought tirelessly for the freedoms so many are able to enjoy today. Let us celebrate historical figures like Alan Turing and Marsha P Johnson, as well as modern day activists such as Lady Phyll, founder of UK Black Pride.
When we look back, we can celebrate legal milestones from repealing Section 28 to securing same sex marriage - and Liberal Democrats should be proud of the pivotal and central role we played in those campaigns and those victories.
I’m also immensely proud of the progress we are making within our own party; last year we passed the ‘Supporting Trans and Non-Binary People Within the Liberal Democrats’ motion at our Autumn conference. The Party has also recently adopted a definition of transphobia, which will support efforts to call out transphobic behaviour and empower us to challenge transphobia both within and outside the party.
We all owe a huge debt to the activists and campaigners who have fought tirelessly for the freedoms so many are able to enjoy today.
However, as we celebrate the progress we have made, let us not forget that there is a great deal more to be done. Discrimination, bullying and violence remain an everyday reality for so many. They are grim reminders of the necessary work yet to be done in the march towards justice.
As we grapple with the virus, let us not overlook the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on LGBT+ communities.This includes increased strain on mental health, domestic abuse and homelessness. It is important, especially at these times, that we continue to prioritise the wellbeing of all communities and stand with those who so often are not heard.
Finally, I want to thank you to everyone involved in organising this year's celebrations and Iet us all take the opportunity to educate ourselves on LGBT+ history.