1967 saw the first significant liberalisation of the law relating to sex between men in English history. The Sexual Offences Act was pivotal but its effects were slow to be noticed and life still felt very difficult for lots of people. 
For many years, those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community were made to feel 'other' than the rest of society. It denied opportunity and it brought discrimination. And the LGBTQ+ community was not recognised in law as a group in need of protection. Pride Month is an annual event to commemorate the Stonewall Riots - but it is also a moment to pause, celebrate and reflect on the journey so far and the steps left to take - both as individuals and as a wider group. 
Without lived experience, we are all ignorant. Opinions are often formed based on personal lived experience. And this lived experience can influence the way we view others, their identities and their experiences. Admitting ignorance is hard. But if we don't listen to and accept our own ignorance, then how can we begin to imagine a world where everyone enjoys access to equal rights, equal opportunity and equal treatment? 
This is why Mondrem believe so strongly in building shared understanding and creating trusting human relationships. We seek first to understand and listen to the lived experience of people as people - not as any other title or attribute. Why? Because we are ignorant. And without listening we can't learn. 
Pride Month is a reminder to accept our ignorance, to learn from it, and be prepared to change when we listen to the stories of other communities and individuals. And it is about making space to talk openly about difficult issues or topics - accepting and supporting people we do and don't know. 
The protests and violent clashes of June 1969 seem like a world away. But they serve as a reminder that there is strength in being bold and standing together. 
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