In The South

Proud2Be will paint the town gold at fifth Totnes Pride

Besi Besemar August 2, 2017

The historic market town of Totnes in Devon, will host the fifth Totnes Pride on Saturday, September 2, 2017.

Social enterprise Proud2Be are organising a host of events, which will bring the LGBT+ communities together with their friends, families and supporters, to celebrate diversity in the town.

This year’s theme is Paint It Gold and is inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, which repairs smashed pottery by using beautiful seams of gold.

Explaining why the theme resonates with her, Proud2Be’s volunteer coordinator Julie said: “It reminds me that whenever life has broken me, I have been able to find the light in the darkness. I have had the courage to pick up the pieces and with compassion and love put myself back together. In doing so I am a stronger and better person for having been broken.’’

This year’s special guest is CN Lester, a singer-songwriter, writer, classical musician, and activist, named as one of the most influential LGBT+ people in the country two years running by The Independent.

About their experience of the event 2 years ago, CN said: “Totnes Pride 2015 was…inclusive, intersectional, challenging, supportive and genuinely welcoming.”

The day starts at 10.45am outside The Dartmouth Inn with a special performance from Spectrum Choir and opening speeches.

The award-winning Samba ROC Band, will then lead a procession up Fore Street and High Street to Totnes Civic Hall at 11.30am.

Road closure will be in place between 10.30am – 1pm at Ticklemore Street and from the bottom of Fore Street up to where the High Street meets Castle Street.

Community bus service Bob the Bus, will be running a park and ride service from 10am at King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC) and will also be transporting those with mobility issues up the procession at 11.15.

At the Civic Hall from midday, visitors can enjoy workshops and talks, community stands, Dot’s Cafe, a youth space and a variety of family-friendly activities including art and craft, scrap modelling, silent cinema and face painting.

There will be a panel discussion from 3:00pm at Bogan House, where local and national activists will discuss the theme: Labels- Limiting or Liberating?.

The fun continues into the evening at Totnes Pride After Party from 7.00pm at Totnes Civic Hall, which will feature live music from popular Disco Funk band Golddust and DJ sets from Mamma Boogie Oogie, Rhi Rhi Rhythm and Madame Souza.

Due to a successful People’s Health Trust bid, entry to all daytime events are free. Tickets to the After Party are £10.00 (16 and over) and can be purchased on the day.

To book tickets online, click here:

To mark the event Totnes Town Council will once again, raise the rainbow flag over Totnes Civic Hall. The flag raising ceremony will take place on Monday, August 28 at 6.30pm with a special performance by St Thomas Gospel Choir, followed by a Totnes LGBT+ History Walk led by local Writer, Historian and Publisher Bob Mann.

Inspired by their own experiences of bullying, discrimination and shame-gay, non-binary twins Jon & Mat Price set up Proud2Be in 2011 when they recorded the first Proud2Be video. Since then several public figures and members of the public have contributed to the campaign.

As well as hosting Totnes Pride, Proud2Be delivers awareness training and facilitates various groups throughout the year, including a social group, craft days, fundraiser discos and a youth group.

Last month, the group were shortlisted from over 22,000 nominations and votes for the ‘LGBT Community Organisation’ award at this year’s National Diversity Awards.

Proud2Be co-founder Mat said: “The Pride Action Group have been working tirelessly for the best part of a year to ensure that Totnes Pride continues to be a community event that we can all be proud of. For us, Pride is a chance for the whole community to come together to celebrate diversity in our town. Everyone is welcome!”

If you would like to volunteer to help at Totnes Pride, email:

Proud2Be are encouraging local businesses and residents to show their support by displaying rainbow flags during the week of Pride. These are available to buy for £5 from Proud2Be.