ROTHERHAM Pride saw its biggest turn-out ever for its most “socially and politically-charged” event to-date — which turned Clifton Park into a sea of rainbows.
Around 7,000 people joined in the fun on Saturday, which kicked-off with a town centre parade, with accompaniment from Rotherham African Drummers.
Now in its seventh year, organisers said this year’s event was its most important yet.
Rotherham Pride chairperson Kirsty Fletcher said: “A lot has happened in Rotherham recently in terms of homophobia.”
Kirsty said recent incidents included an attack on a 17-year-old boy in Kimberworth after he defended his gay friend from homophobic comments and Rotherham UKIP councillor Brian Cutts criticising gay adoption. School governor and Wickersley vicar, Rev Peter Hughes, also recently hit the headlines after he described classes on LGBT relationships as “state-sponsored child abuse”.
Kirsty said: “This year’s event felt like the most socially and politically-charged.”
She added: “We had lots of Rotherham councillors come along and make a big stance on-stage against hate.”
The event celebrated the lives of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who have only more recently been credited with starting the Stonewall uprising for LGBTQ+ rights in New York 50 years ago.
Kirsty said Pride had begun as protest movement and that message was still “very clear and powerful”.
New additions this year included a successful open mic spot for young people which included some “fabulous” drag artists.
Money raised from the day will be ploughed back into next year’s Rotherham Pride where Kirsty said there will be a focus on LGBT+ education in the free workshops on offer.
- Rotherham Pride host a LGBT+ quiz night every first Monday of the month at Fitzwilliam and Hughes in the town centre at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and money raised from the £2 entry fee helps fund the annual Pride celebration.
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