This summer, the North East is set to host Pride celebrations like never before, with Newcastle and Sunderland preparing for events that promise to be “unapologetically visible.” The move marks a significant shift in how these celebrations are being conceptualized and delivered in the region. In Newcastle, the much-anticipated Pride in the City event is expected to draw around 80,000 attendees to the city’s core in July, showcasing the strength and vibrancy of the LGBTQ+ community. Meanwhile, Sunderland is ramping up for a month-long festival in June, aligned with International Pride Month, designed to be inclusive of not just the LGBTQ+ community but all residents and visitors.
Sunderland’s Inclusive Celebrations
Spearheaded by the newly formed charity Out North East, Sunderland’s celebrations are a testament to the city’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. The festival, supported by Sunderland Council and Sunderland BID, aims to embed Pride in Sunderland as a staple of the city’s events calendar. A variety of events, from celebratory gatherings to talks and educational activities, are planned to enrich the community’s understanding and appreciation of LGBTQ+ experiences. Sunderland council leader Graeme Miller emphasized the inclusive nature of the festivities, inviting everyone to partake in the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
Newcastle’s Heartfelt Embrace
The narrative takes a compelling turn with Newcastle’s Northern Pride event, traditionally held on the city’s outskirts, now moving to the city center. This strategic relocation is driven by a desire to make the celebrations more accessible and integrated into the city’s daily life, underpinning the theme of being “unapologetically visible.” Northern Pride director Ste Dunn and Newcastle City Council leader Nick Kemp highlighted the festival’s focus on showcasing the queer community’s contributions to society, culture, and the arts. This year’s Northern Pride is not just a celebration but a bold statement of visibility and inclusion.
Unifying the Community
The revamp of Pride events in Newcastle and Sunderland represents a broader shift toward more inclusive, visible, and community-oriented celebrations. By bringing these events into the heart of their respective cities, the organizers are not only reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community but also to the wider population, inviting them to join in the celebration of diversity and inclusion. The support from city councils and the involvement of local businesses and organizations underscore the community-wide effort to embrace and celebrate LGBTQ+ identities.
As the North East gears up for a summer of Pride unlike any before, the message is clear: the celebration of LGBTQ+ lives and stories is not just for the community but for everyone. These events promise to be a beacon of hope, visibility, and inclusion, setting a new standard for how Pride is celebrated in the region. With the backing of local councils, charities, and the community at large, Pride in Newcastle and Sunderland is poised to be an unapologetically visible celebration of love, diversity, and unity.