Mary addressed the crowds at Durham Pride 2022 on Sunday 29th May at the Sands in Durham.
Speaking about her allyship with the LGBTQ+ community, Mary reaffirmed her commitment to standing in solidarity with the entirety of the LGBTQ+ community, stating “Let me be absolutely clear, there is no LGB without the T.”
You can watch Mary’s speech to Pride by clicking the link to YouTube at the top of the page.
The full text of Mary’s speech can be found below:
Hello friends and welcome to Durham for this year’s Pride! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Mary Kelly Foy, the MP for the City of Durham.
It is an honour to represent the people of Durham in Parliament and it’s great to see so many people here today to celebrate the diversity, beauty and strength that bring Durham together.
I want to start with a massive round of applause for Mel and all the wonderful organisers of Durham Pride! Let’s hear it!
And how fitting it is that the slogan for the City of Culture 2025 bid is “Durham is no Ordinary County”.
Events like Pride highlight how extraordinary Durham is, how accepting we are of people from all walks of life and how we embrace those who may face persecution elsewhere. Here’s to a Durham win in the City of Culture next week that will no doubt lead to Pride getting even bigger in the coming years!
Pride exists because of the bravery of activists and campaigners and many people just like you standing up for the right to be free to love who you want to love.
We also think about those who cannot be their true selves. It is unbelievable that, in 2022, it is still illegal to be gay in over 60 countries around the world!
And in countries where there is more acceptance of LGBT people, we can see the appalling reality of rights being rolled back.
Those of you old enough to remember Section 28 will see the chilling effects of silencing LGBT voices in Florida‘s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill which bans teachers in the state from talking about LGBT matters with their students.
In the UK we have progressed since section 28 – we have same sex marriage – which I cannot wait to see simply called marriage – and we have an environment in which a young professional footballer can express who he is – But we cannot allow this Government to keep stoking the culture wars that will lead to LGBT rights being eroded.
The Government could show that it is on the side of the LGBT community by banning trans conversion therapy. But it refuses. Instead, the Government would rather light up buildings with rainbows than make meaningful change.
Let me be absolutely clear, there is no LGB without the T.
I will always stand in solidarity with you – for your right to be who you are – for your right to love who you love – for your right to exist.
You are loved, you are welcome here in Durham, and you have an ally in Parliament.
Enjoy your day, embrace the hope that fills this field and remember you have every right to have a beautiful life!