By Natasha Scott

This year’s theme of Space & Aliens may seem a little bit out there, literally, but there is an underlying important reason. In the last twelve months, we have seen a rise in hate crime along with a movement to exclude trans people from society. The LGBT government survey has shown how the LGBT community is treated in society and as Stonewall has said in summing up the survey:

Laws have improved, and attitudes have changed but our society still treats LGBT people like second-class citizens”

It’s breaking down social barriers which lays at the heart of why we felt a Hastings Pride was needed because so many things could be better for so many of us who live here and in the surrounding areas.

So why Space and Aliens? The one thing that all the issues we highlighted have in common is ‘Xenophobia’. Often xenophobia is talked about in terms of the hatred of other races or aliens, but its literal meaning is the fear of strangers. It is the fear of people who others do not know or understand which has led to the rise in hate crime, a campaign of social exclusion towards the trans community and the feeling of the LGBT community feeling like ‘Second Class Citizens’.

Hastings Pride allows us all to celebrate the beauty of diversity. It allows everyone who sees that beauty and wants to help us to celebrate our diversity which will bring us all together to tear down these social barriers which oppress, marginalise and discriminate. It’s our belief in fighting for equality which has formed our moto for this year of:

No Discrimination ̴ No Alienation

Come and see our spectacular parade as it goes along the seafront before turning off to go up to the Oval. Watch the festival opened by the amazing performers of Commercial Edge Dance and the vast array of talent culminating in our headline acts of Livin Joy feat Luzahnn and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

Thank you to our Sponsors at the Hastings Independent, Big Lottery Fund, Hastings Borough Council, Optivo, Priory Healthcare, Safer Hastings Partnership, Chalk Cliff Trust, Hastings BID, On the Rocks, Substance, Karma Security, Grand Elektra, Hastings Youth Council and Owl & Pussycat because without your support and the hard work of the directors at Hastings Pride this amazing and important day would not be possible.

Martin Degville is the lead singer and co-songwriter of the UK pop band Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

Luzahnn, frontwoman of house music group Livin’ Joy.


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