Pride up North
This Saturday (23rd July) heralded the return of Northern Pride to Newcastle after an absence of 3 years due to the pandemic. Our attendance at the 2018 and 2019 events directly led to the formation of the Building Equality North East group. Northern Pride is a free event and has been running in its current form since 2008. This year’s event was also designated UK Pride by the UK Pride Network, having originally been planned for 2020. After a downpour immediately before the 2019 march which turned us into a bedraggled mess, we were hoping for good weather and we were rewarded with a largely dry day for 2022.
Our day started before 8am, as the Flannery Plant Hire’s GayCB was delivered to the Rainbow Village site on Newcastle’s Town Moor by their driver Kevin and we set up our adjacent stand with badges, LEGO, and hard hats. Meanwhile, a large group of us were starting to arrive at our Pride Breakfast in the city centre which was hosted by Architecture LGBT+. As the pictures show, Ryder’s office was transformed into a fabulous riot of colour and the Prosecco and pastries they provided fuelled everyone for the day ahead.
From the city’s Civic Centre, along with 25,000 other people, we started marching through the streets of Newcastle. Making our way through the route, we wended our way down the main shopping street and past the Earl Grey Monument before ending up at the city’s wonderful Town Moor. The march was noisy, colourful, happy and a lot of fun and it was reportedly the biggest attendance Northern Pride have ever had.
The JCB and our stand at the Rainbow Village attracted a lot of interest and we were delighted that so many families and young LGBT+ visited us to play with the LEGO, pick up a button badge and chat with us. We also had a few new recruits sign up to our local group, which was fantastic! As this was our first time with a presence at the Pride festival site, we were sailing into unknown territory but all went really well. We're already thinking about how we can come back with an even bigger and better presence next year!
We couldn’t have had such a successful day without financial and in-person support from our fabulous local supporters and we can’t stress enough how grateful we are for support from Architecture LGBT+ and everyone who attended. Thank you!
Northern Pride have announced that next year’s Pride will be on 22nd July 2023 – we’ll see you all there!
(But if you can't wait a whole year, you can join one of our regional groups who will be representing Building Equality at a number of upcoming Pride events, including Manchester Pride and Pride Cymru.)