Pride 2020: ‘bigger and better’

  • Thousands of people are shown marching up Front Street, Hamilton, during the first Bermuda Pride Parade (Photograph by Fly High Media)

    Thousands of people are shown marching up Front Street, Hamilton, during the first Bermuda Pride Parade (Photograph by Fly High Media)

A performer at Bermuda’s first Pride parade expects a bigger and better party the second time around.

Nicky Gurret said yesterday that Bermuda Pride 2019 had been “an event full of joy”.

She added: “That’s a great indication of how things went and also how it will go on next year.”

Ms Gurret was speaking after it was announced that Bermuda Pride 2020 will be held over three days from August 7 to 9.

The Bermuda Pride website, which featured the hashtag #WeBelong, said that the centrepiece parade would be held on August 8.

It added: “We’ll be releasing further details on what we’ve got planned in early 2020.”

Thousands of people took to the streets of Hamilton under a sea of rainbow flags in this summer’s parade in support of equal rights for LGBTQ people.

The event, held over the Labour Day weekend, was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Stubbs Bill, which decriminalised gay sex in 1994.

Ms Gurret said the first Pride Parade was “very significant” for the island.

She added: “It was a time of acknowledging that people in Bermuda wanted change.

“It was time to celebrate and acknowledge the LGBTQ community and that we’re behind them.”

Ms Gurret, a member of the all-woman drum group Coral Beats, which performed at the event, said that the experience had been “fantastic” and that the band hoped to take part again next summer.

She added: “We felt there was such good energy around — and we felt the good energy.

“We performed really well and we were happy to be there.”

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, said that the first Pride parade showed community support for equal rights in a way that caused minimal disruption.

He added: “This was done very well.

“The organisation was tremendous and a pleasure to work with.”

Mr Gosling said: “The event showed that a large sector of Bermudians was open, accepting and supportive of different life choices and resolving the somewhat basic, fundamental, yet wrongly addressed issues facing same-sex couples, which involve more than just accepting marriage as the be-all.”

Kevin Dallas, the chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the first event had been an “extremely dynamic and positive occasion that attracted an impressive and diverse turnout of parade-goers , Bermudians alongside visitors”.

He added that the parade had made headlines around the world and praised the organisers.

Mr Dallas said next year’s celebration was a chance to build on its success and that the BTA would work to promote the parade “as a highlight event on Bermuda’s cultural and community calendar”.

Next year’s event, like the first, is being organised by Elizabeth Christopher, Chen Foley and David Northcott.

The group said yesterday that the impact of the parade “cannot be overestimated”.

They added: “As a result of Pride, we have heard the dialogue starting to change in families and in the workplace.

“There is a shift occurring from being, at worst, hostile to LGBTQ issues or, at best, ignoring them, to exploring how people can be supported and embraced within their families and where they work.”

The three said that an advisory group would be created soon to boost Pride events and the public would be encouraged to back other LGBTQ events.

They added: “We hope by announcing the dates much earlier, it will give time for the huge numbers of Bermudians who live abroad, in particular LGBTQ Bermudians who left Bermuda because of bigotry and discrimination, to be able to come home and participate in their own country.

“Pride 2020 will be the weekend after Cup Match so it would be wonderful to encourage folk to come for Cup Match, and stay for Pride.

“We are hoping that the event will also attract visitors to the island by creating a new and unique reason for families to visit.”

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Published Dec 13, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 13, 2019 at 8:27 am)

Pride 2020: ‘bigger and better’

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