Skip to content

Every year Pride falls in June, but across the summer there are over 150 Pride events taking place in the UK. It was great chatting to Dr Ranj Singh, doctor, BAFTA Award-winning TV presenter and author to find out about his plans for 2024 and which issues he considers particularly important this year.

I began by asking Ranj why it’s important to mark Pride?

Pride is important all year round to me, but it’s good to have an anchor to organise our celebrations, campaigns and activism. Pride is getting more and more important because, in many places around the world and even in the UK, there is a move to reverse our rights. On top of that we still don’t have equality, especially if you’re trans. It feels like our identities are being weaponised, which I don’t think is fair or acceptable.

What was the first Pride you attended?

My very first Pride was 10 years ago this year, it was London Pride 2014. The hashtag was #FreedomTo. For me it was freedom to be myself, freedom to be happy, freedom to be healthy, freedom to be whoever I am and freedom for everybody else to do the same. I was on a bus in the parade, so it was a very special occasion. It was my first public experience of that level of validation, acceptance and understanding. It was joyous and it’s really nice that I get to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that.

Have Pride events become too corporate?

I think we ask ourselves this every year. Pride events have to be corporate, to some extent. Obviously, we must never forget what Pride is about: Pride is a celebration, it’s a protest, it’s activism, and it’s a way to highlight important issues and remind people that we are here. We deserve the same rights as everyone else. But Pride will always be corporate too. Firstly, we need the support of as many people as possible and that includes corporate organisations, which helps us to do a lot more. Secondly, these organisations have queer people as part of their workforce. And there are queer businesses and corporations that want to take part, and it is important to try to include everyone. I understand the concerns about pinkwashing though. I believe if an organisation is going to be part of Pride then they need to be part of it all year long.

Is there an issue you would like to highlight?

While LGBTQIA+ people may be regarded as a minority, there are minorities within our minority. There are queer people of colour, queer trans people, queer less able-bodied people. Whilst we strive for inclusion, let’s be careful about who we may be inadvertently excluding. For a long time, Pride has given a voice to a certain kind of queer person. We are a massively diverse community, full of lots of different people and not everyone gets a seat at the table. Let’s remember those people who don’t often get a chance to speak up as much as others. Let’s make sure that they are heard and seen and given a voice as well.

What would your advice be to someone attending Pride for the first time?

Have fun, enjoy it, take a moment to celebrate who you are, enjoy your community and your chosen family. No matter who you are, where you’re from, what your background, what your experience of being queer might be, just take a moment and enjoy Pride. Logistically speaking though, because I like to have my sensible hat on as well, make sure you’re safe and surrounded by people who will look after you. Make sure you are being careful, because it’s so easy to get carried away. And make sure you’ve got funds to get home and have somewhere to stay if you’re travelling down! Have fun, but be safe, be sensible, but above all be you!