What are the impacts of Brighton Pride 2020 being cancelled?

Words by Rathurshan Ganeshalingam

Brighton Pride 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which will affect the amount of money they raise this year. 

The annual event is a chance for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and fight for their rights and have pride in who they are. It is also a great way for charities to spread awareness and raise money for their causes.

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Brighton Pride has also benefitted Brighton and boosted its economy. The Brighton Rainbow Fund states that Brighton Pride 2018 reportedly boosted the city’s economy by “£20.5 million through visitor spending on travel, accommodation, retail, and food and drink across the weekend.”

Many LGBTQ+ charities fundraise most of their money during Pride. Brighton Pride have advised people to donate the face value of their tickets to support charities. People who donate their tickets will be given priority in the release of tickets for next year’s Pride. You could also give the money you were planning on spending at Pride on hotels, food, transport and more to charities instead.

Gray Hutchins from The Clare Project, a trans support service, said: “The cancellation of Brighton Pride has been a significant hit for us, and we are pre-empting quite a large loss of fundraising.

“There are loads of small businesses that will be greatly impacted by lack of funding, not only funders like The Brighton Rainbow Fund. Also, how much funders and charities would have fundraised on the day and how much publicity and advertising they would have got for being part of the march and the park is impacted now.

“It is a difficult time to ask people for money but if people are privileged to have those spare funds, then they can direct them to the organisations that really need them right now.”

Interview with Gray Hutchins from The Clare Project, a Brighton-based trans support service.

However, there are people who feel that Pride is unnecessary. Many Brighton residents have also complained about the amount of litter that covers the city after Pride is over. Numerous hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community have been committed at Pride as well.

Moreover, some people in the community have argued that Pride has become more about partying and having a good time and less about fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

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Amy Brewster-Brown, who identifies as pansexual, said: “Pride started as a protest to fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Pride today is a reminder and tribute to that as well as celebration of the community.

“People who say it is unimportant are usually ignorant to why it exists. I feel we should be educating these people and explaining why it is important. Then, they might gain more of an understanding.

“Pride helps by providing a space to celebrate oneself, friends and family. It helps with visibility and acceptance and teaches people to be kind to others in this country.”

During these hard times, we should support people in the community who are struggling and do our best to help each other.

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