This weekend sees London play host to the third ever WorldPride event - a global celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture.
This festival of diversity features the slogan "Today London, tomorrow the world," highlighting the fact that LGBT people in Britain enjoy many rights and freedoms compared with other countries around the world.
However, Boris Johnson's failure to provide adequate support for a popular and important community-focused event should concentrate our minds.
Despite us as LGBT people having formal civil equality in 2012, homophobia and transphobia still persist in many areas of British society and there is much continuing discrimination and prejudice that blights LGBT people's lives.
Amid the mega street party and parade that Pride has become, it is also important to remember our history and the challenges we as LGBT people still face.
Campaigning for LGBT rights has been out of the closet for several decades now, but in the decades after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 progress was slow.
It wasn't until 1997, when a Labour government with a socially progressive agenda was elected, that we saw the introduction of the comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation we have today.
Labour adopted a socially progressive agenda on LGBT rights from the mid-'80s onwards. A key factor in achieving this was the promotion of LGBT equality by trade unions and grass-roots labour movement organisations in response to their LGBT members and activists.
In fact, TUC Congress adopted its policy for full equality for LGBT people before its adoption at the Labour Party conference later in the same year.
The LGBT activists who set up groups in solidarity with the miners in their bitter dispute with the Thatcher government were the advance guard of this labour movement shift.
However, today we are seeing increasing attempts to depoliticise Pride, to pretend the days of struggle are over. This is not only a denial of reality - it also runs the risk of us having to repeat fights that have already been won.
Many people have a vested interest in depoliticising Pride.
The Tories' recent declaration of support for gay marriage should be seen in this light. They have come very late to the party.
But remember that right until the run-up to the 2010 general election David Cameron was opposing key equality legislation.
Even now without a whipped vote on equality issues it is unlikely that the majority of Tory backbenchers would find their way into the correct lobby.
The depoliticising of Pride also serves business interests. The commercialisation of the LGBT scene promotes a "lifestyle" ideal.
There is an individualist ideology and standardisation of being "gay" - rarely bisexual, lesbian or trans - that is the result of a useful marketing strategy under capitalism.
The aspirations and priorities of LGBT people - our lives and loves - are more diverse and dynamic than this.
The more we resist stereotyping the more we are able to unleash the creative aspects of LGBT freedom and make our society more diverse and accepting. Organisations such as Left Art help this process.
LGBT liberation is not just about individual freedom but is about changing society so we can all be more free.
At a time of economic downturn when the state is being shrunk, working people fear for their jobs and those on benefits are demonised, we need more LGBT politics not less.
There are increasing pressures in the workplace and society and we should watch out for any attempt to divide and rule through prejudice.
Equality rights are under attack from the coalition's employment law changes, which among other things water down the Equality Act 2010, restrict positive initiatives in the provision of services and abolish employers' responsibility for third party harassment.
This is on top of cutbacks to the Equality and Human Rights Commission budget from £70 million to £23m, with 260 redundancies and closure of its helpline.
The fight is on, local authority by local authority, to save LGBT voluntary and community groups that are under threat.
In the trade union movement we have to resist the mistaken idea that equality is a luxury we cannot afford.
Already we have seen inclusive representative structures cut back. To limit democracy in this way - to ignore how homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism and prejudice against those with disabilities erodes class solidarity - is highly dangerous.
At the October 20 TUC demonstration LGBT activists will be marching under the banner "Out against austerity." Unity is strength.
Maria Exall is chairwoman of the TUC LGBT committee.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.