York has held an LGBT Pride parade through the city and a festival at Knavesmire today.
In a celebration of York’s solidarity with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) residents, a large procession of people of all ages marched from York Minster at 11:45, arriving at Knavesmire for games, food and music.
The procession began with a double-decker bus decorated in rainbow colours and banners; next came Backwith Colliery Band, playing a mixture of traditional and comedic marches, from ‘Slaidburn’ to the theme tune of ‘The Muppets’; next came the procession itself.
Starting at York Minster, the procession held a minute’s silence in memory of the forty-nine people killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12th.
The procession left York Minster, heading down Parliament Street to cross the bridge to Mickelgate. Turning left the procession headed down Skeldergate, moving to Bishopgate to the Racecourse. Turning right on Campleshon Road, the procession made its last turn at Knavesmire Road, settling in a field near the Racecourse.
In Knavesmire, attendants were treated to food, drink and entertainment from a variety of performers, as well as some amusement rides. The University of York held a small science exhibition exploring rainbows and human vision and the York Green Party organised a coconut shy.
Attending the event were supporters from the University of York and York St. John University; the York Labour and Green parties; the York LGBT Forum and other organisations.
The LGBTQ Officer of the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) Jaz Liddell told The Yorker:
Pride is, as it always has been, one of the most important times of the year. I’m delighted to see so many students at the event.
Academic Officer Thomas Ron added:
This is my fourth Pride and I’m always happy to support the LGBTQ community. I think Jaz has done a great job at organising our attendance.
At the time of writing, the festivities continue with an evening at Thomas’s Bar on Museum Street. An after-party will also be held at Mansion at 10:30pm.
York Pride is a registered charity organised by a small group of volunteers, supported by corporate sponsorship and location donations. Its website states:
York Pride raises awareness of LGBT issues by promoting and staging events, taking part in campaigning and commentary in the media, and providing support to other LGBT charities and voluntary organisations. We also promote the provision of information, advice and support that celebrate LGBT lives and history. We aim for York to be a place where everybody knows that the diversity offered by the LGBT community is something to be celebrated and in which LGBT people can feel safe and accepted.
The Chair of York LGBT Pride told The Yorker:
We are thrilled with the turnout for our 2016 pride event. It was wonderful to have such support across the city and county for our Pride event especially given the terrible events in Orlando.
A Gay Pride march was first held in York in 2012. If you’re a member of the public and you’d like to be involved in York Pride, contact email@example.com. Further information concerning York Pride 2016 can be found here. The Yorker will upload a collection of photographs shortly.