The rights the LGBTIQ community have won over the past half a century are thus much more than the legal protections and securing equal status in society. It is about the cultural aspects too like making it normal for LGBTIQ couples to not face abuse or discrimination. Like making it normal for the LGBTIW community to experience support and understanding. Just like I was lucky enough to experience from my family, school, friends, colleagues and the Conservative Party. Sadly, every Pride I meet at least one person who is there alone because they cannot come out to their family, friends and colleagues. Pride being the one chance a year they get to be themselves and be supported by everyone around them.
That is why we still have a fight on our hands. The fight to love without shame. The fight to love without barriers. The fight to love without fear. The fight to love and be celebrated. So today I am thinking about all those people I have met over the years who were not able to come out for fear of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. Today is your day.
Please join me in both celebrating how far we have come as a nation to support the UK's LGBTIQ community, and let's keep fighting until everyone can love freely.
Dolly Theis is a member of LGBT+ Conservatives General Council, and was Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall in the last General Election.