A new national network of LGBT+ Pride organisers has been established.
The UK Pride Organisers Network (UKPON) aims to bring together Pride organisers to share best practice, ideas, learn together and network. The network is planning on hosting two annual conferences, as well as webinars and online support.
As many as three million people are thought to have attended one of 98 Pride events around the UK in 2016.
“Pride is a vital movement for human rights and equality around the world,” said Steve Taylor, co-chair of UKPON. “In the UK, where we have more Prides than any other country in Europe, we want to increase the visibility and viability of every Pride, so that they are a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.”
Delegates at the conference earlier this month signed messages of support for Pride organisers in Istanbul, Turkey which was cancelled by police, and in Kampala, Uganda, where police raided an event and many LGBT+ activists were assaulted and imprisoned.
Kristine Garina, president of the European Pride Organisers Association, said: “It’s fantastic to see so much energy and passion for the Pride movement in the UK, and it was an honour to speak to organisers at their recent conference and address issues of LGBT+ rights and human rights that are at the core of Pride. The European Pride Organisers Association shows how much we can achieve when we work together and how important is the solidarity and support we can give each other. I hope that the new network will increase the visibility of LGBT+ equality in the UK and internationally.”
Commenting on the creation of UKPON, co-president of InterPride Brett Hayhoe said: “I salute the UK Pride Organisers Network and look forward to working with them in solidarity, unity and community. I wish them the best of British for a successful collaboration, today and for many years to come.”