There are almost two weeks to go until Worthing’s first gay pride event, and organisers cannot wait to share – or, perhaps, ‘Cher’! – the experience with our town.
More than 800 tickets have been bought in advance of the day festival at Beach House Grounds on Saturday, July 14, which has a capacity of 4,500.They will be £5 on the day.
And over 500 people have signed up to be in the pride parade along the promenade.
It starts opposite the Burlington Hotel in Marine Parade, Worthing, at 1pm, and the festival ends at 10pm.
Josie Kelly, chairman of Worthing Pride, said she had learnt a lot about the LGBT+ community, particularly people who are non-binary – someone who does not identify exclusively as male or female.
She said: “It has been really interesting learning about all of this. As a parent and someone putting on Pride, it is something I need to know.
“Youngsters now are so confident, which is great – but part of this is helping those who aren’t to express who they are and want to be.”
James Spencer is also helping organise the event.
The 43-year-old from Farncombe Road, Worthing, who is gay, said he was ‘absolutely ecstatic’ that his home for six years finally had its own pride. He said: “There is a large LGBT community within Worthing that has been waiting to show pride in who we are.”
To raise the profile of the event, organisers have been taking selfie frames around town and encouraging people to post the pictures on social media. Josie, of Park Road, Worthing, said many businesses had got behind the campaign, including Bar Ten. The teams also ran information stands at Northbrook’s campuses, giving out leaflets to students.
They will have a stall at the event and dancers from the college will take part in the parade. Josie said: “It is about educating everyone – not just the LGBT community – so they can be more supportive of their friends and loved ones.”
Among the acts performing are tribute act ABBA Magic, Miss Disney, who performs Disney tunes, and Brighton-based drag queen Spice. Click here to find out more about the performers.
Organisers have also addressed the often-asked question: why do we still need gay pride? Click here to read why.