Pride recollections 2023

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It seems many years since my first ever Pride march, around 30 years, I think it was 1991, in Kennington Park in London. What I do remember very clearly is the transformative effect it had on me and that’s why I believe Pride remains so important especially for young people for whom the experience can be liberating and affirming of their identity.

Times have moved on since 1991. We now live in a much more tolerant and open society and this was much in evidence last Sunday at a celebratory, inclusive and well organised Hastings Pride. The event was very much community-led, especially among the stalls, where the RNLI, St Michael’s Hospice and Rother Rainbow Alliance, amongst others showed, their commitment to the LGBT+ community as activists and allies. There was no charge for entrance as there is at some Pride celebrations around the country and the setting at The Oval really showed what our region has to offer. As the night deepened, the moon rose over the sea and star performers D:Ream led everyone in singing “Things Can Only Get Better”, the feeling of togetherness and love was tangible.

Rye and Winchelsea have a long history of not only accepting but celebrating diversity. I think we have always been a bit “on the edge” and been leaders in how to be an inclusive and welcoming. So it would be fantastic if next year we could have a Rye and Winchelsea “posse” at Hastings Pride so we can really celebrate what wonderful and inclusive communities we are and so our own LGBT+ young people can feel all the more that they are valued and loved for who they are.

Image Credits: Simon McGurk .

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