Croydon will once again have its own Pride event, the first in some 20 years. Celebrations on August 28 will start with a parade on North End which will make its way down to Surrey Street, and there will be activities throughout the day.
In the past Croydon has been criticised for its marginalised gay community. Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, Councillor Mark Watson hopes this is about to change.
“Croydon is the most populous borough in London, but the LGBT+ community has often been under-represented, but now Croydon has its first openly gay Mayor it’s the perfect opportunity to show off the amazing diversity we have”, he said.
Many local businesses and communities are supporting the events, and several LGBT organisations from the area will have stalls and information on offer on the day.
One of them is the Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS). Chair of the society David Page said: “CAGS was proud to take part in Croydon Pride events over 20 years ago, and we are delighted that Pride is once again being celebrated in Croydon.”
The announcement came just days before a mass shooting inside a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people and injured as many.
Despite the attack there are no plans to cancel any LGBT events in the UK. Chair of Pride in London Michael Salter-Church said: “The horrific events in Orlando highlight that the campaign for respect and equality must go on within communities across the globe.”
Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that Pride celebrations across the country won’t be affected and that police and security services are reviewing arrangements for the events.
“I want to make clear to all LGBT people in Britain, and all around the world that we will not tolerate such bigotry and violence”, she said.
A rainbow flag was raised outside Croydon Town Hall to honour the victims of the shooting.
One of the headline performers at the Croydon Pride Fest will be Topping and Butch; a musical satire comedy-duo that has sold out sets at Edinburgh Fringe in the past few years.
The parade will be led by Rainbows Across Border, a community group for LGBT asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries because of their sexuality.
Other acts and events will be announced over the coming weeks.