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‘Be proud and be you’ says city MP at Portsmouth Pride

The fifth Portsmouth Pride took place at Castle Field today – Saturday 22 June. Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan, who sponsored the event and spoke on the main stage following a parade along Southsea seafront, gave the people of the city a message of ‘working together to create a place where no one has to hide who they are, or who they love’

The event, organised entirely by local people as volunteers, has gone from strength to strength, saw thousands of people flock to the seafront to share in the celebrations with the LGBT+ community. 

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Portsmouth Pride is a vital celebration of our city’s vibrancy and diversity. It is fantastic to see the event open to all go from strength to strength. 

The celebrations also showcase the city’s ability of local people coming together to volunteer and put on a large-scaleevent.”

In addition to speaking on the main stage and sponsoring Portsmouth Pride, Mr Morgan has hosted a variety of pre-Pride events to promote the day of celebration including the volunteer organisers and sponsors. 

While Portsmouth Pride is about the celebration of the LGBT+ community, the city MP also emphasised the additional need for the events to take place due to the recent rise in hate crimes. 

Mr Morgan has said: 

“This event is not just a celebration, it is a show of unity and force in the face of oppression. Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community have risen by nearly 150%, we have seen vicious attacks in London over the past few weeks and people spouting hate speech outside schools is commonplace. 

We must not forget how these Pride marches started nearly 50 years ago in Manhattan. They were a reaction to years of hatred, ignorance and oppression.

We owe it to those who marched all those years ago and made such immense sacrifices to ensure that the society we create is fairer and freer.

In response to this recent spate in hate crime, Mr Morgan set up a public stall at Portsmouth Pride where attendees were invited to sign a postcard to the Home Secretary to urge him to tackle hate crime. 

The action follows Mr Morgan raising concerns directly with the Home Secretary in Parliament, writing to the Minister responsible and called on local police and crime commissioner to outline his strategy. 

Concluding his speech, the City MP said:

At a time of such division in our country and hate in our nation we owe it to those brave people 50 years ago to pick up the baton, protect the rights our predecessors afford us today and to continue this fight for justice.

We owe it to the next generations to create a society that is tolerant and fosters a culture of acceptance.

I am proud Portsmouth is a not a place for hate, but a place of hope for a better future. So let’s continue to work together to create a city where no one has to hide who they are, or who they love.

My message to every single one of you today is simple: Always remember be proud, and be you.