It’s come around quickly, hasn’t it?
Pride Canterbury is nearly here once again. To the LGBT+ community of Canterbury it’s the most important event of the year in the city – and for good reason.
It can be tricky to wrap your head around if you aren’t LGBT+, but because many LGBT+ people spend a lot of their lives disguising who they are, Pride is the one day of the year that they feel they can truly express their identity in the city they live in.
That’s a special feeling, to come out, on a warm sunny day in our beautiful city, and be yourself.
And for those that are lucky enough to have loving friends and family that accept them for who they are, it’s an amazing opportunity to share a wonderful day celebrating that.
There has been much talk recently of “identity politics”, and in some ways an event like Pride is all about identity politics, about people with a common bond coming together to push for progress.
But it’s not about people dividing themselves, rather it’s about allowing them the chance to be themselves, and to share that with their local community to bring everyone together no matter who they are.
As I have previously written in the Canterbury Journal, Pride Canterbury is a very important event for the whole community.
No matter your gender, political choices, sexuality, age – whatever – you are welcome at Pride Canterbury if you accept and love your fellow residents for who they are.
We start the event at 11.30am with our Pride Parade – a colourful and meaningful march through the high-street to the Dane John.
Pride events have their history rooted in protest, and so the parade holds significant meaning for many.
It’s a chance to show the city who we are, and to demonstrate that LGBT+ people have as much ownership of their city as anyone else. The parade sends a distinct message – we are visible. It’s also amazing fun, energetic and exciting!
Once the parade reaches the Dane John gardens, the celebrations begin at 12.30pm. The 100% free show, funded by sponsorship from local businesses, has a packed line-up of music, dance and comedy.
We come together and enjoy ourselves, while remembering those who don’t have the freedom to do the same.
Headliners this year are S Club, and there will be activities for families, stalls to buy from, food to enjoy, and charities and organisations to learn from.
Then finally, we close the day with our Glitterbomb Pride After-Party from 10pm at The Old Brewery tavern.
Tickets are on sale now, check our Facebook page to find out more, and visit our website at pridecanterbury.com for all the details about Pride.
I hope that you are able to join us, join in, and have an amazing day in this amazing city.