Leeds Pride 2023: Organiser hails 'biggest ever event' as over 75,000 mark celebration of LGBTQ+ in the city
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The city centre was transformed into a sea of rainbows yesterday (Sunday) as thousands took part in the parade that ran from the Millennium Square and down the Headrow.
The organisers have estimated that this year’s event saw at least 75,000 people in attendance, which is about 10,000 more than last year and far more than the first ever Leeds Pride event 18 years ago, which saw around 300 people in attendance.
It’s understood that 175 different organisations took part in the parade in Leeds, which is one of the last remaining big cities that does not charge for its Pride event.
Liaqat Ali, 45, who is one of the founding members of Leeds Pride, said: "It was really successful, I've never seen Briggate so busy or so many people lining The Headrow. It was our biggest ever event."
Mr Ali, who will bow out of organising Leeds Pride after 18 years, said he felt "emotional" to be leaving the committee after so long, but looked forward to enjoying the event among the crowds next year. He remained adamant that there is still a need for the celebration in the city.
He said: "If you go shopping in city centre at the weekend, how many same sex couples do you see holding hands? It's not that many, because many fear being threatened. Homophobia and transphobia still exists. There is still a massive need for Pride."