During June each year, people in Cambridge and beyond come together to mark Pride, celebrating how far LGBTQ+ rights have come.
Pride originated in the United States, in 1969, when the Stonewall riots took place in June of that year (the Stonewall riots being protests that changed gay rights for a lot of people in America and around the world).
As well as being a month to celebrate progress in LGBTQ+ rights, Pride is also an opportunity to promote the need for further education and awareness of issues that still affect people within the LGBTQ+ community, including discrimination and homophobia.
- One way to support Pride locally is by supporting the annual Cambridge Pride event, which takes place on 9 July on Jesus Green. Cambridge Pride 2022, sponsored by Anglia Ruskin University, is a free festival open to everyone. There will be a parade in the park and range of music, comedy and other activities to enjoy. Follow the event on Twitter or Facebook for the latest information ahead of the event, or to find out more about how to support the local charities and services that support the LGBTQ+ community year round.
- On 28 June, The Kite Trust is hosting its annual Queer Valentines event at the Junction to mark Pride 2022. The event celebrates queer love, queer hope and queer joy, and helps to raise vital funds for the Kite Trust’s youth work services in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and the surrounding areas.
- On 1 July, The Kite Trust’s Queer Prom is taking place at the Junction. As prom isn’t always LGBTQ+ inclusive, The Kite Trust is throwing its own, where 11-17 year olds can enjoy a safe space to dance, take photos, bring a date (or don’t), and feel free to be themselves. People can buy tickets now (and if cost is a barrier to entry young people can contact the Junction for a free ticket).
- Encompass Network Cambridge’s usually packed schedule of events has ramped up for Pride Month, with events ranging from pub nights to book clubs, and film screenings to choir meets. The best place for information is their Facebook page.
As part of its commitment to strengthening equality and diversity in Cambridge, Cambridge City Council regularly funds and partners with the organisations listed above, including providing the venue and a £5,000 grant to support the upcoming Cambridge Pride event.
The council has signed up to Encompass Network’s Safer Spaces campaign to help LGBTQ+ people feel safe, welcome and included when using council services. This involved providing training on challenging discrimination and reporting hate crimes experienced by LGBTQ+ people to frontline services including Customer Services, Housing Advisers, and for staff working in community centres. The council also supported The Kite Trust to run sessions for local businesses to find out more about the Safer Spaces scheme, and to encourage people to sign up to the council’s Equality Pledge.
The council also runs training sessions for staff and councillors throughout the year, including on transgender awareness, and tackling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination.
With South Cambridgeshire District Council, the council supported Encompass Network to undertake a community needs assessment of LGBTQ+ people in Cambridgeshire, including needs related to wellbeing and community engagement. Encompass Network completed the needs assessment and shared initial findings with both councils in February 2022.
Cllr Mairéad Healy, Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing, said: “The council is committed to challenging discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity in all aspects of our work. We are working year-round to support LGBTQ+ residents and colleagues and are eager to join the community in celebrating progress during Pride, and to reassert our ongoing support. I’m looking forward to celebrations taking place throughout the month and especially Cambridge Pride on 9 July.”
The council’s support for the LGBTQ+ community is part of its wider commitment to strengthening equality and diversity in Cambridge. You can find out more about our ongoing Equality and Diversity work on our webpage, including:
- Our equality and diversity policy
- Our Equality Value Statement, which sets out the responsibility of our staff
- Our Single Equality Scheme 2021 to 2024, which is our current plan and includes objectives and actions around our Public Sector Equality Duty
- And the Equality Pledge – which encourages partners and individuals to show their commitment to challenging discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity by signing the Pledge – which the council is a co-founder and signatory of.
The executive councillor leading on this matter is Cllr Mairéad Healy, (Labour) Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing. Spokespersons from the other political groups on this issue are Cllr Cheney Payne (Liberal Democrat) and Cllr Hannah Copley (Green/Independent Group).