What’s it like to go to Pride as an ally?
Dignity and Worth member Anna Malnutt reflects on her experience at this year’s Nottingham Pride..
(l-r) – Anna, Noah and Kim – picture shared with permission)
“It was with joy and apprehension that I donned my Christians at Pride t-shirt and headed to Nottingham Pride.
I’d seen a few weeks ago that there was a planned Christian presence and wondered if I should go along. I ummed and ahhed about it for quite some time, my heart saying I should and my head filled with worry.
One day I saw a status from someone else about it and I decided that was it, I was going. It was then that I realised my biggest fear was going to a strange place with people I don’t know, so I enlisted the help of Kim Greaves, the most fearless woman I know, because I knew she’d be thrilled to wave a rainbow flag and walk by my side.
I had to reflect on why I was still so uncomfortable about going, and for me I feel like I’m still trying to learn and understand what it means to be a good ally, and I was conscious by going I was stepping into a space that wasn’t for me. Did I really have a right to be there?
Seeing photos of other allies taking part in Pride and a Google of ‘is it okay for me to go’, I understood that my acknowledging it wasn’t *my* space, and I was a guest there was the most important thing, so I got my t-shirt and glitter and off we went.
The experience today was an interesting one. As soon as we stepped off the train in Nottingham I felt vulnerable. Several people saw what we were wearing and gave us funny looks and I finally fully understood why some people feel uncomfortable holding hands in public.
I experienced it for about 10 minutes as I walked from the station to the parade, and I cannot begin to comprehend what it must be like to feel that vulnerable every single time you leave the house. I can only admire the bravery of those who are in this position every day, and certainly understand better than before why people chose to hide their true selves.
Once we reached the parade my anxiety fell away completely. It was beautiful to be a part of such a joyful celebration, to cheer and to dance and to wave our flags. Seeing people truly able to freely express themselves in the most eclectic of ways was so special. To see the pure joy on Kim and her son Noah’s faces as they embraced the whole thing was amazing. To see such a richly diverse crowd both in the parade and watching it was phenomenal.
It was the most glorious celebration of love and humanity I will ever see, or be a part of. I hope that our presence showed the LGBTQI+ community that God absolutely does love them, because to do so was an absolute privilege.
I still don’t think I know what it means to be a good ally, but I will continue to push myself to understand better, and do more, because I cannot stand by and watch this injustice.
And my favourite sign was this..
‘Made in God’s image? God must be fabulous!'”