ONE of the organisers of Stroud Pride says there is ‘still a long way to go’ to rid society of homophobia, after a group of men insulted members of the LGBT+ community during a tour of the town.
Sacha Coward, the marketing officer for the Stroud Pride Picnic, which takes place this Saturday, spoke to the SNJ ahead of the popular event – and following a number of homophobic attacks nationally in the past few weeks.
The 31-year-old, who lives in Chalford with his husband, said “there is still a long way to go” when it comes to battling homophobia.
“As an example, we run a tour of Stroud for the LGBT+ community and at the end of the tour a group of football fans tagged on the end and started to insult us.
“The vast majority of people are open and accepting but still there’s a long way to go. One in 100 may cause a problem but that one person is still too many.”
Sacha said that when he’s with his husband in public he does fear being subjected to homophobia.
“You are always looking over your shoulder even in a place as accepting as Stroud,” he said.
Two men were targeted in a homophobic attack in Liverpool over the weekend, carried out by three teenage boys.
This followed another homophobic attack on a bus in London two weeks ago when two women were attacked by a group of men for refusing to kiss.
People across the district are invited to attend the second annual Stroud Pride Picnic this Saturday (June 29) from 11am to 5pm at Bank Gardens – or the nearby Lansdown Hall if the weather is bad.
Sacha said: “It’s a party for everyone in the community, and to create a safe space for LGBT+ people.
“The Stroud Pride Picnic aims to celebrate all sexual orientations and genders in a family-friendly environment. There will be performances, and stalls as well as many activities.
“Find us @StroudPride and Facebook for information on other community events and to get involved.”
A British Sign language interpreter will be present at the picnic from 11am to 3pm to help those who need assistance.