Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Monday, 29 June 2015

Turkish Police And Caitlyn Jenner Prove Why We Still Need Pride

Turkish Police And Caitlyn Jenner Prove Why We Still Need Pride

The Debrief: One's horrific, the other's pretty heartwarming, but both are important in understanding why LGBT people 'do' Pride...

If you or any of your mates made it to the glorious sunny London pride this weekend then you’ll know that Pride is joyful and exciting and a bit political - America legalised same-sex marriage just last week! And if you didn’t, you might have stereotypes of drunken go-go dancer boys slut-dropping on podiums. While these go-go dancers will and do exist at whichever pride they can (being gay, or appearing to be gay is illegal in 78 countries!), they’re not exactly why Pride exists.

Two things, one terrifyingly bad, one heartwarmingly good, have reminded us why Pride is great.

Istanbul Pride in Turkey

Even though the dates for Ramadan would have been known for years, it was only when crowds started assembling for Pride (normally timed in late June to coincide with the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which started the long journey to LGBT equality in America) that Turkish authorities thought the clash might cause a ruckus.

Worried that conservative Muslims wouldn’t appreciate LGBT people celebrating their freedoms in Taksim Square (a traditional rallying ground for protesters), police launched an attack on peaceful LGBT people and their allies. Using water cannon and rubber pellets, the police shot at around 100-200 people until they dispersed, reports The Guardian.

بشار الأسد بس على إخونجي.Like #Assad but he is #Muslimbrotherhood#Pride in #Istanbul

Posted by Khaled Harbash on Sunday, 28 June 2015

They were later allowed to celebrate at a nearby party, but the fact that actual police – who should be protecting their citizens from harm – have been so brutal towards them, shows which side the authorities are truly on in Turkey. That’s reason one why Pride is necessary – it shows that no, people are not going to sit down and take shitty treatment, yes, they deserve equal rights and that the responses to them are far more ridiculous than their right to a happy existence.

Caitlyn Jenner’s first outing to Pride as a transwoman

After 64 years of living in a body she didn’t feel matched up with who she is inside, Caitlyn Jenner has transitioned, and is now filming a documentary, I Am Cait, to show the world what her life is like as a transwoman.

One of the many firsts we’re expected to see in the show is her outing to New York Pride – which holds extra significance because it’s the city the Stonewall riots started off in. A source told E! that Caitlyn turned up at a Pride after party at the Dream Downtown Hotel in Chelsea and ‘Everyone was cheering and then Caitlyn got up and took some selfies.’


Caitlyn Jenner is just one trans person taking selfies, sure, but being the most famous trans person in the world, at the head of the most famous family in the world – the Kardashian-Jenners – means that she has a platform to speak up for other people who might know the struggles that she, despite her wealth and fame, has too experienced. The fact that there’s a specific time to celebrate people like her and the progess they’ve made (at least in some countries) shows the positive side of why Pride is necessary.

And so what if a few guys want to dress up as go-go dancers and get drunk?

Like this? You might also be interested in:

How To Be A Straight Woman At Pride Without Being A Dick

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14,000 People Say Cara Delevingne's Sexuality Is Not A Phase

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Tags: LGBT, Turkey