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18th July 2020
Our festival every year is a chance for people to get together with family and friends. We come together to celebrate, remember and unite. With the challenges of COVID-19, pride festivals and events across the globe are cancelled and postponed. And whilst we are separated, we now more than ever need to be together in unity.
Northern Pride is built on three promises to our LGBT+ community. Protect, Promote and Provide. Protect is about protecting the rights we’ve won, championing these at home and overseas to help encourage change globally. We also must acknowledge that parts of our community still don’t have the rights they deserve, and we all must support this ongoing battle. We are not equal until we are all equal.
As far back as the history books can go, one of the fundamental roots of the pride movement has been about acceptance. Everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are regardless of their gender identity or sexuality.
When Gilbert Baker designed the LGBT+ Rainbow Flag over 40 years ago, he made each colour represent an aspect of the LGBT+ movement. We’ve picked three to cover during Northern Pride Online, starting with orange. Healing represents the the joy of celebrating our whole selves, and for those fighting mental health issues as they are often doubly burdened. Give those suffering hope and strength.
The second of the colours we are exploring is Yellow which represents Sunlight. Allowing us to be ourselves rather than hiding in the shadows, and to highlight those who cannot come out of the darkness for fear of their lives. Especially at this time, many members of our community are finding themselves needing to hide their true identity for fear of rejection or violence during the recent lockdown.
For the last colour we are dedicating our candlelit vigil to the colour purple, the last on the flag, which represents Spirit. where our spirits soar and rejoice and for those whose spirit is being tested through political upheavals, church politics, fear, war, natural catastrophes, financial difficulties and the recent pandemic.
We have been huge advocates of all groups within our community, but now we are promising to put additional resources into helping trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, along with those who identify as BAME.
As part of this commitment, we are working with UK Black Pride for the first time, to ensure we properly represents black members of the LGBTQ+ community.
We have unveiled a range of LGBTQ+ charities and organisations we intend to support ahead of our Pride Online where all money raised will be shared equally.
UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, and is a safe space to celebrate diverse sexualities, gender identities, cultures, gender expressions and backgrounds. They run an annual celebration during pride month, as well as a variety of activities throughout the year in and around the UK, which also promote and advocate for the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual health and wellbeing of the communities they represent
Launched as a community organisation 10 years ago, Be has evolved through the support of our volunteers to become Newcastle’s only Charity specifically working for trans (including non-binary) people. We know that supporting trans people involves more than just listening, and our goal is to elevate our community and give them the tools and confidence to flourish in their lives. We understand the barriers trans people can face at home as well as in work, healthcare, housing and many other areas. It’s our mission to help remove these barriers by challenging discrimination and encouraging understanding. Our focus is on empowering trans lives, to allow every trans person to have pride in their identity – however they choose to express it.
Curious Arts is a Newcastle Gateshead based not-for-profit organisation developing LGBTQIA+ arts, artists and audiences across the North East of England.
Our work celebrates and explores Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture through the arts.
Throughout the year we work in partnership with Arts, Culture and Community Organisations and annually, in July, produce and present award-winning Curious Festival.
Rainbow Home is a small North East charity supporting LGBTQI+ people who are seeking asylum in the UK, having fled persecution, state violence, imprisonment and torture in their home countries.
We support them whilst they fight their case to stay – and settle in a country where they can be safe to just be themselves and love who they love – without fear.