Thousands expected to embrace Norwich Pride
- Credit: Archant 2013
The streets of Norwich are set to be filled with colour and joy when the sixth Norwich Pride takes place on July 26.
The free family-friendly event aims to be an all-inclusive celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) community.
Colour is at the centre of the festivities and thousands of people are expected to mark the occasion with painted faces, colourful clothing and waving the rainbow flag.
An estimated 5,000-10,000 people joined in the fun last year and the numbers should remain high with the exciting schedule ahead.
Dean Simons, chairman of Norwich Pride 2014, said: 'It seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year. Last year was absolutely phenomenal as it was our fifth year. It's like a big carnival – that's the way I look at it.'
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The venture, which aims to ensure Norwich is a safe area where people can feel proud, receives donations from local businesses and gay venues which, in return, advertise in the Pride Guide.
Mr Simons became chairman last year after working as the access steward for the organisation.
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He was excited to get people to become involved in the weekend. He said: 'We're out there and we're not going away, we want to break down homophobic barriers.' Mr Simons credits the event, which in his experience has always been received positively, as being active in preventing homophobia.
He said: 'We get a lot of people asking what it is all about; we are promoting being proud of what you are.'
The programme kicked off with the official launch party of the Pride Guide and continues until the spectacular finale on Saturday, July 26.
Here are some ways you can be involved in the excitement:
• Got Pride, Love Pride – Norwich Pride is calling for people to send in what makes them proud: whether it's friends, family or loved ones, they want to know.
• Take your art, photos, poems or messages to St Margaret's Church of Art in St Benedict's Street, for them to take pride of place on the Got Pride, Love Pride wall at Pride Without Prejudice which runs until August 2. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The first debate of the week 'Are young LGBT people safe in schools?' will take place on July 23 at 6.30pm.
It will feature guest speakers Annette Pryce, LGBT executive member for the National Union of Teachers, and Henry Needham, sixth- form student at Reepham High School.
• On Saturday, July 26, at 11am Norwich Pride is hosting 'Beyond a fringe issue: Why everyone should care about trans rights'.
The guest speaker will be CN Lester and will remember Natasha Curson, a trans activist who lived locally and was a good friend to Norwich Pride.
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