Hannah Blythyn MS, Deputy Minister for Social Partnership
This Pride Month, we want to honour activists and advocates who have built a strong and united movement over the past five decades. The efforts of the pioneers who paved the way have secured significant advances in LGBTQ+ equality. We recognise and remember generations of LGBTQ+ people, who individually and collectively fought for us all to be, to live, and to love as our authentic selves.
This month is also a reminder that we still have work to do to. Pride Month and Pride events are still needed to protect and advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people, particularly as our rights come under attack here and around the world. Despite these attacks, LGBTQ+ communities in Wales remain strong, united, and unapologetically proud.
This Welsh Government stands proudly with our LGBTQ+ communities in the struggle for liberation and equality – today and every day. This weekend, the First Minister and I will attend Pride Cymru in Cardiff to celebrate LGBTQ+ people in Wales and to march in solidarity with those who continue to work for progress. Progress is not inevitable, and we cannot be complacent.
We know the value of funding local Pride organisations and the difference it can make to LGBTQ+ communities across the country – something I have seen and felt first-hand. I am pleased that we have expanded our Grassroots Pride Fund to enable more communities to come together and be their true selves.
This will build on support we have already offered to many Pride events across Wales, including Barry Pride, Cowbridge Pride, Glitter Pride, Pride in the Port (Newport), Swansea Pride, Colwyn Bay Pride, Abergavenny Pride and Hay Pride. We also continue to support North Wales Pride, which last year was held in Bangor and this year will be held in Caernarfon.
Since the publication of our LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales, we have focused our efforts on putting the plan into practice. This week, we have published our LGBTQ+ Action Plan tracker, so that anyone in Wales can monitor updates and progress against each action and activity in the Plan, as well as accessing support services and resources such as our new LGBTQ+ Action Plan Stakeholder bulletin. We are also working to produce a framework to assess the impact of the LGBTQ+ Action Plan and we have set up the LGBTQ+ Internal Accountability Group to ensure we build a coherent approach across policy areas.
In April, we met with the United Nations and their Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. They recognised the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales in their end of mission statement as: ‘an example of good practice in human rights policymaking’. As we make progress to implement the Action Plan, we remember that here in Wales we stand for unity over division, inclusion rather than exclusion, and for hope not hate.
We want to create a Wales where everyone feels free, supported, and safe to be and live their lives as their authentic selves. That’s why LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in our Programme for Government. Together, we will build a Wales where LGBTQ+ people are accepted without exception.