his past weekend, Pride Cymru hosted Wales' largest celebration of equality and diversity event at Cardiff City Hall and Rainbow Newport attended. Young or old, first time event goers or returners, our youngest being 8 years old, we were joined by all, even the mascot pug.
The main event took place Saturday 26 August, by the annual parade through Cardiff, which was the biggest ever with over 10,000 people marching.
Many organisations, business, groups and individuals attended this event, some included Nathan Wyburn, Wales Air Ambulance, Europe Pride, South Wales and Gwent Police, RNLI, Politicians from across Wales including NCC Councillor for Beechwood Deb Davies.
Adam Smith, Chair of Rainbow said, “this event was truly amazing, attending all three days, volunteering for Pride Cymru Friday and Sunday and being with Rainbow Newport on the Saturday. It was lovely seeing so many people from Newport at this event, enjoying themselves and in a nice a relaxed atmosphere. We must remember though, events like this take place due to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate, and the fact that many people across the world are unable to attend an event such as Pride in fear of being arrested, even killed. That is the reason why gay pride takes place. We’ve come so far since the partial decriminalisation for gay men, even this year we had the announcement of the reduction on the blood ban and new adult gender identity service in Wales, but while we face hate and discrimination, we still need to keep pushing out our message, standing in solidarity and being a voice for the LGBT+ community in Newport and beyond.”
I think the biggest highlight for me though was that 6 people who came with Rainbow Newport said to me that it was their first ever Pride event and 4 of them would not have attended if we didn’t put the trip on. That was heart-warming knowing it helped them socialising and helped to reduce social isolation.
Being at Rainbow Newport community stall, to walking around the event site, it was amazing having members of the community coming up to all the committee members congratulating us on what we’ve achieved, asking how they can become more involved, welcoming representation from Newport, but mostly asking me and the committee when will Newport be getting its own pride event. To answer that questions, my focus for the moment is our first year birthday celebration which takes place 21 September, and waiting to see if we have secured funding for the next LGBT+ Conference and Information day.
I’m not saying that Newport will not have one, I really would like “Pride in the Park”, but this comes with some issues, mainly funding. I will spend the next couple of months looking to secure about £10,000 funding, if successful then yes, we will have our own Pride event.
The night ended back in Newport at Atlantica Bar where we danced in to the early hours of the morning. Was amazing to of been joined by Britain Got Talent impressionist Philip Green and laughed we did.
Robbie White Manager of Atlantica Bar said, “myself and my team were proud to support Rainbow Newport LGBT+ group throughout Pride Cymru over the Bank Holiday weekend. We were delighted to be invited to take part in the parade and hosted the Pride Cymru After Party in Newport. Headline act was Britain's Got Talent Comedy Impressionist Philip Green, whom was accompanied by Matthew Harman; a vocalist also from Britain's Got Talent. Philip certainly entertained with his hilarious parodies and had the whole venue laughing at his impressions; we will certainly want to get him back to Newport in the future. Our resident DJ Lamsie and DJ Rob Steed were on hand throughout the night to keep everyone partying until the early hours.
Atlantica is committed to celebrating diversity in a safe, comfortable environment and we look forward to working with Adam and the rest of the Rainbow Newport team to bring even more fantastic events to Newport.”