Peter Tatchell will be the guest of honour at the first ever Totnes Pride event, which will bring south Devon’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community (LGBT) together with their friends and families for a full day and night of celebration in the town.
Devon-based LGBT organisation Proud2Be is laying on a whole host of events in the town on Saturday 14 September in what will be the UK’s largest rural Pride event. The day kicks off at 11.30am at Totnes Civic Hall, where visitors can take part in a panel debate, workshops and talks from some leading LGBT figures from across the country, including Mr Tatchell and Elly Barnes, who topped the Independent newspaper’s Pink List, the rundown of the 250 most influential people in the LGBT community.
Then the fun really kicks off at the spectacular Totnes Pride After Party from 8pm at the South Devon Arts Centre. A huge night of entertainment, dance and music features the UK’s top Burlesque group Kinky & Quirky, live music from Sound of the Sirens and Rebecca Maze, and top DJs.
Entry to the daytime events at Totnes Civic Hall is just £1 for adults, 50p for 11-18 year olds, and is free to those under 11s. Tickets to the Totnes Pride After Party are £12.50 and available from the South Devon Arts Box Office on 0844 888 0435 or online at www.southdevonarts.co.uk.
Mr Tatchell said Proud2Be’s founder Mat and Jon Price had created something really special. “I am proud to support Proud2Be Totnes Pride 2013,” said Mr Tatchell. “I’ll be there and I hope you will join me for a fabulous celebration. LGBT community makes an important, positive contribution to Totnes and Devon. Proud2Be Totnes Pride is the recognition that LGBT people are part of south Devon. We’re here, we’re queer and we love Totnes.”
“There have long been LGBT Pride events in big cities like London and Bristol, but it is really important that Pride celebrations also happen in smaller towns and cities too. LGBT people are often invisible in more rural parts of the country. Their input into local communities is frequently overlooked.”
“It is important to keep campaigning for LGBT acceptance and human rights in Devon and all across the UK. The battle for marriage equality is almost won but not quite. We are still campaigning for equal love rights. Our efforts are part of a worldwide movement for LGBT equality. We are part of an unstoppable global trend.”
Totnes-based Proud2Be was launched two years when gay identical twin brothers, Mat and Jon Price sat in front of their web cam and recorded a short video. In the video they explained how they are both proud to be gay.
“In truth we had ben ashamed to be gay before that moment,” said Mat. “After years of messages from our school, church, the media and certain members of our family, that being gay was wrong, we had internalised those messages and started to believe them. When a friend asked us if we were proud to be gay we both said no. But that was the catalyst for our change in attitude and three years later the Proud2Be Project was born.
“Our mission is to encourage and support all lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans (LGBT) people to be proud of who they are.”
Since its launch, Proud2Be has grown hugely and now holds monthly get togethers and other events across Totnes. The organisation has also received the backing of some famous names among the LGBT community including Stephen Fry, and the twins also host there own radio show on local community station Soundart.
“Totnes Pride is going to be a wonderful day for Totnes and south Devon,” said Jon. “It will be a day when the LGBT community, as well as our friends and families, can celebrate and show everyone they’re proud of who they are. We’re delighted to have the support of so many people and organisations and just can’t wait for the day itself to come.
“We’ll have some great talks, debates and events for all ages during the day at the Civic Hall, and then we’ll really let our hair down with a huge party at the South Devon Arts Centre. It’s going to be spectacular.”