David Parr is finance partner at Morecrofts, and is an active member of both the Michael Causer Foundation board, and the LCR Pride Foundation board.
This weekend we will celebrate Pride In Liverpool, with a series of events over two days, the main Pride Festival on Saturday 27th July being the most popular.
Thousands of people, from all communities, are expected to gather in the city centre to enjoy the festivities.
As a board member of LCR Pride Foundation, I see all year round how hard the very small team work to deliver this huge event.
I was thinking about the recent debates on social media and in the news about corporate brands ‘jumping on the Pride bandwagon’. Some say it feels like the LGBT community is being used as a ‘cash-in opportunity’, while others welcome the acknowledgement and celebration.
I tend to fall on the latter side of the debate. I am happy to see Arriva operating busses wrapped in rainbows, and although amusing to some, the LGBT sandwich from M&S is great.
I am also an active board member of The Michael Causer Foundation, where I sit as treasurer.
For those who don’t know, Michael Causer was a happy, young gay man who was adored by his friends and family.
In July 2008, Michael was the victim of a brutal attack at a house party, leaving him hospitalised. He died a few days later on August 2.
Following his death, Michael’s family along with many supporters from the LGBT community and beyond, founded the Michael Causer Foundation, which aims to support and educate members of society and their families around LGBT issues.
Each year, Michael’s brave mum, Marie, who is an extraordinary woman, and his family walk at the front of the Pride in Liverpool march with their heads held high. They really are an inspiration to us all.
Although it’s on one hand upsetting that there is a need for the Michael Causer Foundation, it’s also encouraging to know that we can all do our bit to contribute towards true equality, understanding and, dare I say it, a more open-minded world.
I wonder… if as many corporate businesses adopted LGBT branding back in 2008, would Michael have suffered such an awful fate? Would other young people be less questioning and critical of different sexualities?
Recent attacks in London and closer to home prove that we have a long way to go in educating people around equality and sexuality, but I like to think that in the past 11 years, we have come a pretty long way.
Most of us couldn’t care about a person’s sexuality, just as we don’t care about what star sign they are or what hand they write with.
Those ignorant few are trying to take us backwards, but we will continue on our path to equality for all.
So as far as I’m concerned, banks, law firms, travel companies, supermarkets and more – bring out your rainbow flags – even it it’s just for a month.
Let’s celebrate LGBT Pride, let’s celebrate Liverpool – and let’s celebrate the life of Michael.