It’s been a highlight of the city’s summer calendar for the last decade - and organisers hope this Leeds Pride weekend will be the most successful ever.
As it celebrates its 10th birthday, the annual Leeds Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) Pride event, starting tomorrow, includes a whole host of events celebrating love, equality, sexuality and gender identity.
These include community fringe events such as Leeds Queer Film Festival’s free screening of ‘Set It Off’ and club nights including the return of the infamous Speed Queen courtyard party.
There will be a vigil at the newly created Sovereign Place from 5pm tomorrow to remember those lives loved and lost in the LGBT community since 2006.
Sunday is the main Leeds LGB&T* Pride celebration day, the party kicks off at midday in Millennium Square with the Sainsbury’s Parade stage. There will be two hours of entertainment headlined by Soft Cell front man Marc Almond.
At 2pm the hugely popular Leeds LGB&T* parade will then weave its way through the city centre. Everyone is invited to join the thousands of people and over 50 floats taking to the city’s streets, flying rainbow flags with pride.
In these painful times we could choose to run and hide in fear, but Leeds LGBT Pride, choose to come together and take to the streets.Tom Doyle
Entertainment starts at 3pm on the Trinity-sponsored Main Stage situated on Lower Briggate.
Acts including local band Victors, UK Eurovision duo Joe and Jake and Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding, will entertain the crowds for five hours, before the arrival of headliner, X factor winner and West End Star Alexandra Burke.
Around Lower Briggate there will also be a market place, funfair rides, dedicated women’s space, BME space, Family and Children’s area and a Chill out Zone run by Time to Shine project.
The event is held just a few weeks after 49 people were massacred in Pulse, a gay Orlando nightclub, and Tom Doyle, chair of Leeds Pride, said organisers wanted to celebrate “the rich diverse and dynamic LGB&T community of Leeds”.
Chair of Leeds LGB&T Pride Tom Doyle: “This is a very important year for us and I and the committee want to thank all our volunteers and supporters.
“This year the world and the global LGB&T community were shocked and saddened by the murder of 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This was a hate crime designed to tear out the heart of the LGB&T community.
“In these painful times we could choose to run and hide in fear, but Leeds LGBT Pride, choose to come together, take to the streets with our families friends and allies and celebrate the rich diverse and dynamic LGB&T community of Leeds.”
First direct are the official partner at this year Pride, with a whole host of other sponsors supporting the celebrations including Sainsbury’s, Trinity and ASDA.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers and staff working at Leeds railway station will be on hand this weekend to welcome visitors to the city.
We will be there at the station as part of ‘Team Leeds’ to welcome Pride-goers and point them in the right direction to where all the action will be throughout the weekend.
More details are available at www.leedspride.com.