Essex LGBT charity prepares to host first-ever Colchester pride event

Colchester is getting ready for its first-ever LGBT pride event on August 19. Picture: MAJA MITROVIC

Colchester is getting ready for its first-ever LGBT pride event on August 19. Picture: MAJA MITROVIC - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A corner of Colchester will be adorned with all the colours of the rainbow later this month, as the town hosts its first-ever LGBT pride event.

Taking place on August 19, the day will see live music, workshops, and talks, and has been organised by Outhouse East – an Essex-based charity working to provide opportunities for the LGBT community.

Tess Brooks, one of the organisers, said it was about time that Colchester had its own pride event, and she hopes for a good turn-out on the day.

“There were just a few of us who decided it was about time more than anything,” she said.

“There is quite a diverse community regarding sexuality and gender identity in Colchester and I think it’s important to show that we exist and that the support is there and people are not alone.

“It’s also important to show that Outhouse East is here to support people as well as having the day to celebrate that we love who we are.”

The event starts at 11am and will run until 9.30pm at Firstsite, in Lewis Gardens, High Street.

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Visitors can enjoy a range of activities on the day, including meditation workshops, make-up tutorials, a cabaret show, and films.

“Being the first it’s quite nerve-wracking but we’ve had a good response from volunteers and people on Facebook, so we’re hoping it will be a good event and we’ve got a lot of stuff going on,” Ms Brooks added.

Talks will also be on offer looking at issues such as disability and sexuality, and organisers hope to have a large chalk drawing of the rainbow flag on the ground outside.

The event comes after a surge in LGBT hate crimes in the UK following the Brexit vote, but the charity hopes Colchester Pride will help.

“Hate crimes are normalised in the community and when you come out it’s expected that you will be a victim of it,” Ms Brooks, who has experienced it herself, said.

“The reporting of hate crime in is quite low in the community, but we are hoping that Colchester Pride might help people realise that they don’t have to put up with it.”

For more information about Colchester Pride and admission prices, visit the website.

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