For the first time in history, Totnes Town Council has raised the rainbow flag over Totnes Civic Hall, as a sign of solidarity for LGBT+ people in Totnes and beyond.
During the moving ceremony, onlookers enjoyed a special performance by Totnes Community Choir Global Harmony and Totnes Women’s Choir VIVA.
Totnes Mayor, Councillor Jacqi Hodgson, who spoke at the flat raising ceremony on Monday, said; “As Mayor I am really proud of the wide mix of people in this wonderful town and delighted that we have come together today to celebrate the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender+ community and the Proud2Be group who have worked so very hard to raise awareness. I raise this flag in honour of all the people of Totnes who support and are proud of the diversity of this special and compassionate town.”
The historic event, marks the third ever Pride event in Totnes, which will take place this Saturday, September 5.
Totnes-based social enterprise Proud2Be Project, will be laying on a whole host of events in the town during Pride.
The event received a high profile endorsement this week when former actor and Labour Politician Lord Michael Cashman tweeted a message of support.
He tweeted: “Proud that you are trailblazing again the third ever brilliant Pride event in Totnes in Devon. It’s going to be amazing!”
This year’s special guests at Totnes Pride will be activists CN Lester and Jacq Applebee.
CN Lester said: “There’s a dangerous myth that LGBT people only exist in large cities, in gay districts – that we’re not a normal part of everyday life. The best Prides I’ve ever attended have been smaller Prides around the country that celebrate and support all members of the LGBT community, showing us in all our complexity, including us in the fabric of our wider communities. I’m absolutely thrilled to have been asked to participate in Totnes Pride – here’s to breaking down barriers and stereotypes together.”
Jacq Applebee said about her involvement in the event; “I am a firm believer of the importance of reaching LGBT people who are isolated, including those in rural areas. In the first bisexuals of colour survey and report, which I produced, isolation was one of the regular themes that resulted in participants not feeling part of their LGBT communities. Totnes Pride will be my first Devon LGBT event, but hope it won’t be my last!”
Totnes Pride starts at 11am outside The Dartmouth Inn, where there will be opening speeches from CN Lester, Jacq Applebee and Proud2Be founders Mat and Jon Price, who together with award-winning Samba ROC Band and an 8ft willow peacock, will then lead a procession up Fore Street and High Street to Totnes Civic Hall at 11.30am.
Community bus service Bob the Bus, will be running a park and ride service from 10am at KEVICC and will also be transporting those with mobility issues up the procession at 11.15.
From midday at the Civic Hall, visitors can enjoy, workshops and talks, a variety of community stands, Dot’s Cafe, a craft area, a family area, face painting, Loz’s clay room, and an LGBT+ library.
There will be a panel discussion at 1.15pm at The Barrel House Ballroom, where CN and Jacq will join local activists, to discuss the topic of gender.
The fun continues into the evening at the Totnes Pride After Party from 7.30pm at The Royal Seven Stars Ballroom, and will feature live music from popular Disco Funk band Golddust, Rococo Chanel and DJ sets from Madame Souza & Rhi Rhi Rhythm.
Entry to the daytime events at Totnes Civic Hall and The Barrel House is just £2 for adults, £1 for 11-18 year olds, and is free to those under 11.
Tickets to the After Party are £10.00 (18 and over only) and are available to purchase from Totnes Pride day event and on the door.
Proud2Be Founders Jon and Mat Price, added; “We are so excited about this year’s Pride; we have been working hard to ensure that Totnes Pride is a community event we can all be proud of. We are thrilled with the support we have received from the local community, in particular Totnes Town Council. For us Totnes Pride is a chance for the whole community to come together and celebrate diversity in our town and to also raise awareness about the issues still faced by the LGBT+ community, in the UK and around the world.”
For more information about Totnes Pride, click here:
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