JUNE is Pride month. Pride is widely understood as a celebration of LGBTQ+ visibility and unity, but this year it must also be a rallying cry to everyone opposed to hatred and bigotry to stand with the LGBTQ+ community, which finds itself under sustained, deliberate attack.

Pride commemorates the Stonewall riots and originated as a protest against police oppression and societal injustice.

Today, there is once again an environment of open hostility against LGBTQ+ people and a fear that public and political institutions, which should provide safety and uphold people’s rights, will be used against the LGBTQ+ community.

That’s why Scottish Greens councillors will bring a motion to the meeting of Glasgow City Council next week asking colleagues to take a stand against those whipping up a climate of hatred and


That climate is evident in new hate crime figures. The number of hate crimes reported to police in Scotland impacting LGBTQ+ people has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

In total, almost 2000 hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people were reported last year, making up more than a third of all reported hate crimes.

It is no coincidence that these crimes are rising at a time when far-right and reactionary movements are growing and when toxic and poisonous smears are being normalised and encouraged by powerful people.

In this context, it’s more important than ever for straight allies to show ourselves. To make it clear to LGBTQ+ people that we have their backs.

I am proud beyond words of all my LGBTQ+ council colleagues for continuing to stand up in the face of at times horrendous abuse.

They are subject to daily attacks online - being called ‘groomer’ and ‘paedo’ and subject to threats and intimidation.

It’s disgusting and it has real world harm.

The values that sit behind the culture wars are harmful to us all.

The heteronormative ideal isn’t just one that splits the world into ‘straight’ and ‘other’ – it is a very clear hierarchy which embeds traditional gender roles and the patriarchy, which is rooted in exercising control over other human beings, which denies bodily autonomy and which considers children as property. It is illiberal, dangerous and often riddled with double standards.

As a case in point, at the same as Glasgow’s Green councillors were securing increased support for LGBTQ+ kids in our city’s schools in the face of growing prejudice and bullying, Douglas Ross was trying to whip up a moral panic over … someone reading age-appropriate stories to children, on a voluntary basis, whilst dressed up drag, just like in the panto tradition.

Let’s be really clear – it is homophobic and transphobic to oppose a more supportive environment for LGBTQ+

people and to only want children to be aware of cis and heteronormative relationships and identities.

It is so disappointing to see the same tropes that were used to argue against the abolition of section 28/2a being wheeled out again. Like back then, it is time for those who value tolerance and understanding to stand – proudly – against those stoking fear and division.