Croydon Conservatives at Croydon Pridefest 2018!
14/07/2018 21:21:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
Today the Croydon Conservatives had a fun day attending Croydon Pridefest 2018! The venue has expanded in size from last year’s event, now held in Wandle Park. This is great news, as that means it will give the annual event room to expand over the years to come.
The Croydon conservatives had a stall, full of brightly coloured decorations, also including some A4 posters in the colours of the LGBT flag, stating some of the positive changes and measures brought in by the Conservative government to help bring true equality in the UK.
Our posters surrounding the stall stated the following:
- MODERN AND INCLUSIVE: The Conservatives have more LGBT+ MPs than any other party.
- MARRIAGE EQUALITY: As Conservatives we believe in freedom and supporting people who make a commitment to each other.
- HARSHER PENALATIES FOR HATE CRIMES: We have ensured people who murder transgender people in hate crimes now face life sentences.
- TACKLING HOMOPHOBIA: We have invested £2 million in schools to help tackle homophobia bullying.
- PRACTICAL ACTION: The government has launched a pilot for 40,000 men to be vaccinated against HPV.
- CORRECTING PAST WRONGS: We have made it possible for gay men with historic criminal records for consensual gay sex to have these records deleted.
We were very proud to join the march, alongside the thousands of Croydonians who wanted to stand up and highlight the need for LGBT equality within Croydon and beyond. It was very positively received from the many onlookers, waving and taking photos as we passed! The march started outside M&S on North End, and proceeded along the length of the road, turned right down Church Street road, and then back towards Wandle Park.
This is when the party officially began, with a steel drum band welcoming back the people who marched. There was an excellent party atmosphere throughout, together with highlighting the important issue of improving and expanding LGBT+ rights and equality in the UK.
As an LGBT Conservative Councillor in Croydon, I was then given the amazing opportunity to speak to the hundreds of people at Croydon Pridefest, on the main stage. I gave a brief insight to my journey as a Gay man growing up in Croydon, also highlighting my very positive experience being an openly gay man within the Croydon Conservatives.
This is the speech I gave:
“My name is Scott Roche, and I am one of the Croydon Conservative Councillors for the Shirley South Ward.
I have grown up and lived in Croydon all of my life, however growing up as a Gay man in Croydon has not always been easy. I struggled admitting to myself that I was gay, let alone telling my friends and family! It was a hugely daunting task, but I was very fortunate to have the friends and family network to help me through it.
Back when I was 17, when I was still coming to terms with my sexuality, there is no way in a million years, I could imagine myself stood here today, talking to hundreds of people about my sexuality, and proudly so!
It is fantastic events such as Croydon Pridefest, which is making huge strives, reaching out to the many people who are struggling with their sexuality, and helping to turn a negative connotation into a positive one. This event is promoting true equality and diversity in Croydon, and it can empower those people, who are struggling with their sexuality, and it helps proves to them, that being different is ok, and it is nothing to be ashamed about! Each person’s sexuality should be celebrated, and never used as a weapon of hate!
However, not forgetting that this event is an excellent opportunity, to have some fun, and party, there is a serious side to this event, but also a fun side, and we should never forget that.
I am very proud to be stood here today, representing the Croydon Conservatives, as one of their LGBT councillors!
The Croydon Conservatives want to help change and improve Croydon for the better, and we would love for you to come and say hello to us at our stall, we will be there all day, so please do come over and talk to us.
Thank you very much, enjoy the rest of your day!”
It was a huge honour to represent the Croydon conservatives in this manner, and I look forward to next year’s event. If you would like to get involved, and help us at next year’s Croydon Pridefest 2019, please do get in touch: