Durham to host its first Pride festival

Pictures of the 2011 Sunderland Pride event
Pictures of the 2011 Sunderland Pride event
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A CITY is set to fly the flag for the first time when its Pride events makes a debut.

Durham will host its inaugural lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender festival on Thursday, after campaigners realised there was nothing of its kind in the area.

The event has been organised by residents, as well as Durham University staff and students, with the free celebration to include drag acts and live music.

Jamie Lawson, who works at the university and a member the LBGT committee, along with Katie Reynolds, chairwoman of the counterpart organisation for students, and Mel Metcalf, of Derwentside Domestic Abuse Service, came up with the idea.

They have supported by Sunderland Pride’s committee and Northern Pride, held in Newcastle.

Jamie said: “Durham has its societies and there have been gay-friendly bars and nights, but they don’t seem to last long.

“But when we were all around the table and this came up, there was silence, we looked at each other and just thought why not?

“When we put the word around, there was nobody who said it was a bad idea and everybody’s been helpful, people both inside and outside of the LBGT society have been supportive.

“We’re hoping it will be an annual event and we’re looking to fund-raise and hold lots of smaller events as well.”

Millennium Place will be the centre of the festival, with any funds raised to go to a same-sex domestic abuse charity in County Durham.

Highlights will include award-winning drag shows to Shirley Bassey and Adele tributes, with a special appearance from rapper Jay’Em, as well as music from Kredo.

The venues for the event are Loveshack, where tickets need to be reserved, and the Slug and Lettuce, with the entertainment starting at 7pm.

The event also features a women’s-only space in the library from 5pm. Stalls and buskers, fire-breathers and stilt-walkers will begin at 5pm.

More details can be found via www.pridedurham.com or on Facebook’s Durham Pride Official page.