Exeter Pride returns to city after one year hiatus

Exeter Pride
The LGBTQ+ event began on Saturday with a march from Sidwell Street [BBC]

Exeter Pride has returned to the city after being cancelled in 2023 due to a "lack of support".

The LGBTQ+ event began on Saturday with a march from Sidwell Street towards Northernhay Gardens at 12:00 BST.

Exeter Pride communications coordinator Russell Back said it was important Exeter's LGBTQ+ community was given "space to be seen, heard and loved".

The event, which runs all day, has been sponsored by South West Water.

'Back on the calendar'

Beth Lythgoe, South West Water’s LGBTQ+ Network Lead said it was "great to have Exeter Pride back on the calendar."

The first Exeter Pride event took place in 2009, and has expanded over the following 15 years to include marches, stalls and other activities.

Exeter Pride Chair Katie Moudry said the event's absence in 2023 made people "sit up" and take notice.

Ms Moudry said: "We didn't have enough committee members to run it and we didn't have enough financial support to run it, but we've been really lucky this year.

"I think it being cancelled last year really made people sit up and realise this isn't just going to happen, we're going to have to start supporting Exeter pride to enable it to go on.

"We've had the most amazing support from the community and sponsors which has allowed it to go ahead this year."

Exeter Pride
Exeter Pride was cancelled in 2023 but has returned for 2024 [BBC]

Mr Back said Exeter Pride was very glad to be back and in a "great position" in 2024.

He said: "With over 10.3% of Exeter’s population identifying as part of our community, it’s vitally important that these individuals are given the space to be seen, heard and loved."

Pride attendee Eva said the Pride event was about showing "love is love" regardless of where you came from.

They said: "For so long we haven't had that chance, and people have been suppressed in the past, not being able to show who they really are.

"It's a time for people to come together and show that love is love and that's what it's about no matter what your age or where you're from."

Mr Back said the celebration would include a "host of afternoon performances", along with food, drink and activities throughout the day.

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