Suffolk Pride hopes to beat rural 'isolation'

Suffolk Pride committee Image copyright Suffolk Pride
Image caption Andrew Knott, pictured in the red jacket with other committee members, said Pride coincided with a weekend of celebrations in Ipswich

A town's first Pride event in five years aims to dispel the isolation felt by a rural county's LGBT community.

Suffolk Pride - previously held in Ipswich in 2012 and 2014 - will parade the Waterfront on 22 June for what could become an annual event.

"People can feel isolated, that they are literally the only gay in the village and have no-one to talk to," said Pride secretary Andrew Knott.

"Come to Pride, be yourself, you are not alone," he said.

The organisation committee is a fresh collective who found it "strange" that Suffolk did not have its own Pride.

"Our MP Sandy Martin, since he was elected a couple of years ago, he has been very supportive and was keen for there to be a Pride in Ipswich," said Mr Knott.

"It never really took off before and I don't really know why, but we want to build on it and hopefully make it an annual event."

Image copyright Suffolk Pride
Image caption It is hoped a successful Pride will attract more people to the organisational team and make the event an annual fixture
Image copyright Suffolk Pride
Image caption Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich is among local schools supporting Suffolk Pride

The parade will set off from Dance East at noon and gather at Orwell Quay for music, food and celebrations into the evening.

Children's entertainment, local bands, speakers and a poetry corner will feature, with street food and drink stalls available as part of the weekend-long Waterfront Festival.

Libraries and schools around the county will also be involved in the run up to the big day with themed events.

"Some people will ask if Pride is still necessary when we have equality in the UK, but is important for everyone to be who they are and to celebrate it with everyone else," Mr Knott added.

"This is for absolutely everyone - the family, the children, the dog - it's going to be a great day."

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