Today Norwich came out in colourful glory to celebrate the LGBT community in an annual Pride event.
The festivities went on all day and were free to everyone. They included stalls, picnics in Chapelfield Gardens, a Parade, an art exhibition, live shows and parties into the night at various gay bars and clubs in Norwich, such as The Loft and Flaunt, two of the most well known LGBT venues in the city. All aimed at celebrating a community sometimes the subject of harsh scrutinisation and unfair prejudice. The day also included a costume competition
In the week leading up to this event there have been numerous Pride related events going on in the Norfolk and Norwich area.. An art exhibition entitled ‘Pride without Prejudice’ opened on Monday and the week has been littered with talks about learning and understanding the growing diversity of the LGBT community in modern society, and the links between gender, sex and mental health.
Unable to attend the festivities and seen the colourful scenes myself, I have observed the action of the day through the gallery on this website:
I feel this is a very important event, especially for people of my age who are in education. During your later teenage years and your early twenties is when you really start to discover, understand and accept the person you are and what path your life will take. The rise of Pride as an established event and organisation makes people who may be going through the struggles of understanding themselves differently to those around them feel slightly less outnumbered and may put less pressure on young people. Particularly, I think it is important in a university setting as for many young people, this is the time when they begin to explore this side of themselves in environments that haven’t been available to them at younger ages.
Many universities also have LGBT societies (UEA definitely does) and will have links to Pride celebrations, which is a fantastic way of ensuring a solid sense of community and spirit! For me I cannot stress enough how important I think celebrations like this are, to discourage prejudice and to encourage an acceptance of different lifestyles and choices!