Pride was once considered inclusive by default, but now that the world is so polarised the LGBTQ+ celebration is throwing up new challenges.
On the negative side we have the “anti-woke” brigade threatening retailers who dare to support Pride, and on the positive side we have businesses like MisterB&B that go out of their way to make the parades accessible to the older generation – the ones who started the movement in the first place but find it increasingly difficult to participate.
The hotelier is renting rooms on Pride routes to older members of the community so that they can participate in the event from balconies – displaying a specially-created “silver” Pride flag – and don’t need to be on their feet all day.
David Martin Angelus, creative director at BETC, said: “As part of the LGTBQ community I wanted to do something that makes a difference. Everyone ignores the hardships that LGTBQ+ people face as they get older. Most individuals don’t have children and loneliness and depression are common. Silver Pride brings them back to Pride and makes them feel supported and embraced by their community.”
BETC’s Silver Pride initiative is in partnership with non-profit Les Audacieuses et les Audacieux, which supports LGTBQ seniors in danger of isolation. It has already been a success in Paris and will be employed elsewhere in Europe and the US later in the year.
The LGBTQ+ “elders” are the ones who fought for gay rights when there were none, and it’s thanks to them that Pride exists at all. Good to see them celebrated in this way.