Liberate is a pan-island charity that works to educate and inform on a wide range of LGBTQ issues and to support those who identify as LGBTQ, their families and friends; we campaign to reform policies and laws to ensure that LGBTQ people can enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else across the Channel Islands; and, we question social attitudes and behaviours which discriminate against LGBTQ people, and offer advice and help in tackling homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and the like.

They were formed in February 2014 in Guernsey in order to steer the Channel Islands’ response to the change in UK legislation that brought in equal marriage. Since their formation, they have been involved in consultations with the States of Jersey and Guernsey on equal marriage law and, in Jersey, sex discrimination law, ensuring that the islands’ LGBTQ voice is heard by its governments. Equal marriage legislation has been approved in Jersey, in principle, and a draft of the law is due in 2016. Guernsey’s law is still in consultation and a proposal is due soon.

Together with their partner organisation Trans* Jersey, we have worked to learn from and improve on the UK’s Equality Act in Jersey. As a result, our sex discrimination legislation, which passed in June this year, includes recognition of intersex as a protected characteristic and protections for all people who are of non-binary gender, not just those who have transitioned.

In June 2014, Jersey held a rally to press the States of Jersey for equal marriage. Nearly 1,000 islanders took to the streets after a whirlwind Facebook campaign of a few days. The resulting march was more akin to Pride than a political rally. With more time to prepare for this year’s event, Liberate hopes to build on these numbers to make the islands’ first ever Pride event one to remember.

A Guide to creating the ‘Pride’ vibe

Not sure what to expect at the Channel Islands’ first official Pride event on Saturday 12 September 2015? Here’s their handy guide to creating your own Pride vibe.

Pride is for everyone. It is not just for LGBTQ people. It is for our families, friends, allies, supporters, work colleagues – anyone, in fact, who believes in equality and diversity. Invite friends to join you and plan your Pride vibe together.

Pride is fun. It is a day in the year where you get the chance to celebrate being you. Laugh, dance, party and wear whatever “makes you feel like you, but on a really good day”!

Pride is colourful. The LGBTQ rainbow is a symbol of the diversity of our community. The more colourful your get up, the more you’ll fit in. Expect flags that support all aspects of the rainbow.

Pride is outrageous. Dressing up is encouraged. The bigger, the better. Expect to see super heroes, drag queens, club kids – you name it, anything goes.

Pride is a beach. If the weather is warm, some of the guys may want to get their abs and pecs out. Expect some flesh on display. But, remember, this is Jersey so no nudity, please!

Pride is noisy. Everyone is encouraged to make some noise to show their support for equality. Add to your outfit with a drum, hand clapper or whistle.

Pride is for organisations. It really is about being proud of what you and your organisation are doing for equality. If your workplace has an equality initiative, come along and carry your organisation’s banner in the parade.

Pride is romantic. Lots of people come with their partners and lots of people meet their future partners at Pride. Expect gratuitous displays of affection!

Pride is family friendly. Old or young, all generations can show their support for equality. Be prepared to carry little ones in the parade (so, at least, they get a good view!).

Pride has a point. While we make strides towards equality for all in Britain, not everyone can live as openly. Pride shows the world the liberties we value as a society and reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted. This year’s Pride theme is #proudandfree

Pride is respectful. We all express ourselves differently. Expect to see diversity in all its rainbow-coloured glory. You may not choose to express yourself in the same way as the person walking next to you but respect their right to do so, as they respect your right to self-expression, too.

Finally, Pride is popular. Who doesn’t like a party? Expect a lot of people. At points, where the parade route narrows, you may be in close proximity to others. The parade starts at 12.45pm at West’s Centre and you should try to get there in plenty of time.

Liberate are looking for volunteers to help with creating the “Pride Vibe” on Saturday 12 September. If you would like to get involved, please emailvolunteer@liberate.je for more information.

The official Pride shirts shown in the photo are available from the Pride merchandise store, Magic Touch, in Weighbridge Square.

 

Photo (left to right): Vic Tanner Davy (Treasurer), Natalie le Cornu, Paddy Haversham-Quaid, Prudence Munro (Secretary),  Jamie Hooker, Stacey Yates (Vice Chairman), Jay Roulson, John Ttokkallos, Sebastian Kiernicki, Christian May (Chairman), Chantal Sabrina