We had an incredible experience at Manchester Pride this year, on August 26th 2023. Our campaigners were out in full force on the streets of Manchester and the event was nothing short of amazing, despite the rainy weather.

For us, Manchester Pride is not just a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community; it’s also an opportunity to shed light on important issues surrounding the hostile environment. Last year, we had the opportunity to take part in the Candlelight Vigil and campaigners were able to have their experiences read out on stage.

Our campaigners come from various organisations in Manchester including; WAST Manchester, Metropolitan Congregation, and LISG UK. Some of our campaigners may not identify as part of the LGBTQ+ family. However, they view this event as a chance to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and raise awareness about the challenges faced by those seeking asylum.

TJ, campaigner:

Raising rainbow flags high, I couldn’t do it then but proudly doing it now. Love is love.

One of the key messages we brought to the event was our theme for this year: “No one is illegal.” The crowd enthusiastically embraced this message, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Many of the people we spoke to expressed their support, love and anticipation to collaborate with us in our efforts.

These Walls Must Fall organiser Thomas said: “It was amazing doing something so purposeful with the campaign group again, we enjoyed linking up with allies and Liverpool TWMF members.”

Teresa, campaginer:

Under difficult circumstances back home and in the UK, we still strive. We don’t lose hope, everyday is loveday. I have chosen to be myself. Many years have been wasted living in fear, but the system will not break me. No one is illegal.

We were especially heartened by the support we received from Manchester Pride CEO, Mark Fletcher. He not only showed his love for our cause but also agreed that “No one is illegal” is a message worth spreading. Mark was gracious enough to take pictures with us and extend his warm support.

Jane, campaigner:

I am an activist and a campaigner, I came all the way from Liverpool to show solidarity to our LGBTQ+ members. We hardly have or attend such events in Zimbabwe, so it is my duty to fight for the voiceless, because love is a human right.

During our interactions, it was clear that many people were eager to know how they could contribute to our community’s fight against the hostile environment, not just in Manchester but across the UK. This demonstrates the power of unity and collective action in addressing these challenges.

In conclusion, Manchester Pride 2023 was a resounding success for our campaign. We thanks our campaigners  We not only celebrated love and unity but also found an enthusiastic community eager to stand in solidarity with us. We look forward to building on this momentum and working together to create positive change.