Stephen Fry has warned that the issues facing LGBT+ people have not got easier in the midst of a global pandemic, and said it has “redoubled the hatred” of some.
The actor was among a host of stars who appeared on the 24-hour live stream Global Pride, which is one of the online events that has replaced Pride celebrations that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “I can’t believe another year has passed and what a year it is, we are hardly halfway through 2020 and it has proved to be one of the most extraordinary years in human history, certainly in our lifetimes, certainly in my long lifetime.
“But that doesn’t mean that the issues that face LGBTQI people around the world are any easier or somehow the focus has gone off them from those who hate us, because if anything it has redoubled the hatred of those who will often us as leverage to appeal to their voters or as an excuse or a scapegoat for anything that is wrong in their country.
“It’s a difficult life being LGBTQIs in plenty of places around the world still and that is why we need Global Pride, that is why we need those of us like me who are in a lucky enough position to be able speak out to do so, with love and hope and understanding and send message of cheer and encouragement and reconsecrate, as it were, our commitment to Pride for another year in these difficult, difficult circumstances.
“And I hope wherever you are you are able to have some time to celebrate who you are and that those around you will do so too.”
Ian “H” Watkins reunited with his Dancing On Ice partner Matt Evers to reflect on their experience as the first same-sex pairing on the ITV show.
Watkins said: “It’s been a bucket list show for me Dancing On Ice, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so many years but this time I got the call but I actually said ‘If you would like me then I would like to be my authentic self and dance with a same sex skating partner’ and then I got the call and then I’m going to start crying because my dream came true, and then I got you.”
Evers added: “What Ian and I got to experience on the studio floor that night was something that I’ve never experienced before which was this overwhelming incredible sense of love, that ITV took a chance, that Ian took a chance, that I took a chance, that we worked our butts off to make sure it was classy that it looked real, that it looked normal, and what we were presented with from the community and from the world was nothing but love.”
Actor Russell Tovey also made an appearance and said: “Very happy global Pride. It’s a shame we are not all going to be out there today on floats with banners and whistles and balloons, but we can all still support Pride from our homes by loving and protecting those around you and those in the community.
“It’s been a very strange year, 2020, so far, we are only halfway through, but if we spread positivity and love and the good stuff hopefully the good stuff will start coming back to us.
“So have an amazing day, I feel very proud today and I feel very proud to be talking to you guys, so have pride, have love, have happiness and have the best day.”