Sarah Cheverton reports on LGBT Pride, which comes to Portsmouth’s Victoria Park on Saturday 20th June 2015, twelve years since the last Pride event was held in the city and the first time a major, large-scale Pride event will be staged here.
The LGBT Pride Parade and Festival has been organised by a group of community organisers led by David Lee-Bastable, Chair of Portsmouth LGBT Pride. Organisers are working with a range of partners and sponsors across the city, including Portsmouth City Council, trade unions and Portsmouth Football Club.
Pride 2015 will kick off with a parade through the city, beginning and ending at Victoria Park, and will close with a Variety Showcase event including artists Gloria Miller, One for the Road and the Disco Divas.
The event aims “to promote equality and diversity, advance education and eliminate discrimination in relation to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people” in Portsmouth.
Peter Tatchell, director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, which works to promote human rights, confirmed his attendance at Portsmouth’s Pride.
He said, “It’s great to have Pride events in big cities like London and Manchester but it’s also important to have an impact in smaller cities and towns. That’s why I’m coming to Portsmouth: to support the efforts of the local LGBT community.
‘I’m really excited about being part of the Pride celebrations.’
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Lee-Bastable said, ‘The idea of Pride is to take away homophobic attitudes. It is just our sexuality that is different, we are trying to celebrate that.’
Portsmouth LGBT Pride was formed in 2014 by a small group of volunteers from the LGBT community. In addition to organising an annual parade and festival, the group has pledged to promote and suport the work of organisations in the city providing advice, support and social activities for the LGBT community.
The group is currently working with Portsmouth Football Club to form an LGBT group linked to the Club and are calling for volunteers to help.
People interested in getting involved with Portsmouth Pride 2015 or the PFC LGBT group should contact David Lee-Bastable at Bastabledave03@gmail.com