This year's Pride in London, took place in the aftermath of our community being shaken by the recent events in Orlando that killed 49 LGBT+ people in a gay club. This seems even harder to comprehend when in the UK we have almost gained full equality in the eyes of the law, and last year the States followed suit with equal marriage. But changes in the law are no reason to become complacent.
Anyone who thinks we're done can take several seats. We still have so much stand up to here in the UK, abroad and within our own community. When the trans community is having to stand up for what most people would consider basic rights, the black community is still the target of extraordinary amounts of racism, women are still mistreated, and internalised homophobia means we're still really obsessed with masculinity and heteronormativity I think it's quite clear we're far from done.
Last week was a gruelling news week in which the consequences of poor mental health were splashed across TV screens and newspaper headlines around the world. The week began with the massacre of 49 LGBT Americans in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando and here in the UK the week ended with the brutal murder of a popular Member of the UK parliament Jo Cox on the street of a small Yorkshire town.
Although some countries have legislated against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in goods and services, this isn't universal across member's states. That's why it is important for UK influence to remain at the heart of the single market, to facilitate further anti-discrimination measures. It makes no sense for LGBT people to have protection at home, but subject to discrimination elsewhere in the single market. Retreating with a Brexit vote isn't going to change that unsatisfactory position.
As we come to terms with the tragic loss of life and continue to express our solidarity and support with the victims of the Orlando shooting in the face of mindless homophobia and terrorism, these discriminatory rules are being brought into question and scrutinised under the public spotlight now more than ever before, as we ask ourselves: what is the real reason why a monogamous gay man cannot give blood while a heterosexual man with an indeterminate number of sexual partners would be welcome to donate?
Prince William recently met members of the LGBT+ community after inviting them to Kensington Palace to listen to their experience of bullying and the mental health impacts it can have. Today it was announced that the Duke will make a historic appearance on the cover of Attitude Magazine, the UK's most popular gay magazine.
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this today. On 12th June 2016, the world was subjected to the most violent singular attack on the LGBT+ community in recent history. My heart goes out to the victims of this tragedy, but also to their friends, families, the LGBT+ community, and every person in this world who believes in freedom and liberty - because this was also an attack on them.