Wigan Pride - blog from Councillor Wakefield

Wigan Pride - blog from Councillor Wakefield

This year, I was honoured to be asked to open Wigan Pride along with our young people’s group, BYOU.

The event is led by our LGBTQ+ community and celebrates diversity and acceptance.

It was my first time at Wigan Pride in my role as Lead Member for Equalities and I had such an amazing day.

Occasionally people ask why the council invests in Wigan Pride but I am proud that we support the event. The theme for this year was ‘growth and community’ and it really was a fantastic example of the whole community coming together to celebrate inclusiveness.

Wigan Pride is a fantastic example of The Deal working. The idea for Wigan Pride came from young adults after an inspirational meeting with the actor Sir Ian McKellen. They formed a committee with representatives from Wigan Council, Wigan Borough CCG, The Old Courts, the LGBT Foundation, young people from our youth group BYOU and adult volunteers from community group BYOU+ and together they made it happen. Funding is generated from a range of local businesses, charities and organisations, who all come along on the day to show support.

I hope everyone in the borough can take inspiration from that and know that if you have an idea for improving your community and bringing people together, it can become a reality if you’re willing to invest some energy and time.

One great thing about Wigan Pride is the amount of people who are allies of the LGBTQ+ community; families, friends, parents and carers, professionals such as Greater Manchester Police and health professionals, who come along to enjoy the day too. Having understanding, accepting and supportive allies can make a huge difference to the daily lives of our LGBTQ+ community so I’m proud that we can show such strong support in Wigan Borough.

Something else I noticed at Wigan Pride was that every person there, regardless of their sexuality, ethnicity, gender or age seemed relaxed, happy and comfortable enough to be themselves for that day. I want Wigan Borough to be a place where everyone is welcomed and feels comfortable enough to be themselves every day without fear of prejudice.

One way for us to achieve that is for everyone in the borough to make an effort to understand each other and to treat each other with kindness and compassion on a daily basis.

I hope Wigan Pride continues to grow each year and for anyone who missed it this year, please do come along next year. I know you’ll have a fantastic day.

Posted on Wednesday 15th August 2018

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