Wales On Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - KATHRYN KATHRY WIL­LIAMS Re­porter kathryn.wil­liams@waleson­

CARDIFF was awash with colour and cel­e­bra­tion yes­ter­day as Pride Cymru brought a party at­mos­phere to the Welsh cap­i­tal.

Pride Cymru’s Big Week­end 20172 is a mash-up of Pride and Cardiff’sC Big Week­end and turned theth City Hall lawn and streets sur­round­in­grou the civic cen­tre into a carnival of colour. ThereTher were fun­fair rides, amuse­ments anda en­ter­tain­ment as well as some live mu­sic acts like Bright Light, Bright Ligh Light and Fun Lovin’ Crim­i­nals.

Tonight, Char­lotte Church and Zer­vas and Pep­per bring the week­end of par­ty­ing to a close.

Pride Cymru brought back the Big Week­end with three days of par­ty­ing and ex­trav­a­gant en­ter­tain­ment in the heart of the Welsh cap­i­tal, cel­e­brat­ing and pro­mot­ing the im­por­tance of LGBT+ in the com­mu­nity as well as bring­ing more than 200,000 peo­ple to­gether to cel­e­brate.

The Pride parade took over the city cen­tre yes­ter­day as hun­dreds lined the streets to cheer the walk­ers past and there were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from char­i­ties, po­lit­i­cal par­ties, sports clubs, su­per­mar­kets and banks, the armed forces, emer­gency ser­vices and many other busi­nesses turned out to wave the flag for LGBT+ rights.

Lu Thomas, Pride Cymru Board of Trus­tees Chair, said: id: “We’reWe re ab­so­lutely blown away by the sup­por­t­up­port we’ve re­ceived to­day.

“Rev­ellers haveave come out in their thou­sands to cel­e­brat­er­ate Wales’ bright and bril­liant LGBT com­mu­nity,mmu­nity, and we couldn’t be more thank­ful nk­ful to ev­ery­one who’s made it a day to re­mem­ber.

“Even the su­nun came out for Pride Cymru’s Big Week­end.

“Sun­day is set to be equally as spec­tac­u­lar with sets ets from Zer­vas and Pep­per and Char­lotte otte Church, and we’re also re­ally ally ex­cited to in­tro­duce the Glee Club takeover of our Cabaret­baret Stage.

“We look for­ward to wel­com­ing peo­ple e to­mor­row from 12pm.”

Mean­while, or­gan­is­ers have con­firmed ed the once under threat event will def­i­nitely now take place an­nu­ally for the next five years.

Fundrais­ing has safe­guarded its s fu­ture at Cardiff Civic c Cen­tre.

Around £360,0000,000 has been brought ought in through fund- undrais­ing, tick­etcket sales, small all spon­sor­ships, ma rke t stands and d o nat i o ns this year.

Luke Randall, 20, from Brid­gend, was on hol­i­day in Kavos with his friends in July when he was tar­geted in a club for kiss­ing a boy he liked. The in­ci­dent has made him cau­tious of the way he dresses and looks on nights out...

The hol­i­day started off bril­liant, we were hav­ing a great time par­ty­ing and relaxing. I met some­one who I liked and had a con­nec­tion with, then one night I found my­self in a bad sit­u­a­tion.

We were in a club and we spot­ted other gay and les­bian cou­ples kiss­ing and touch­ing, so we thought why not and we kissed each other once.

All of a sud­den some ran­dom pho­tog­ra­pher de­cided to start tak­ing photographs of us, so I ques­tioned him on it. He was telling us to keep go­ing, he was ex­plain­ing that gay pho­tos sell.

That was when I de­cided to walk away.

The boy I was with turned to the pho­tog­ra­pher and asked why he wanted us to keep go­ing and, out of nowhere, these two big hefty men just ran at the boy I was with and started beat­ing him up, punch­ing him in the face and slam­ming him into the floor.

I was for­tu­nate that the boy pushed me out of the way into a group of girls, who helped me and held me back while he took the beat­ing.

Four bounc­ers rushed in and in my mind I thought they would be com­ing over to help, but in­stead the bounc­ers started to beat him up, drag­ging him on the floor.

He was kicked in the face and shoul­der, there was blood ev­ery­where. Luck­ily, the hol­i­day reps spot­ted him and pulled me and boy away.

His eyes were black and his nose was crooked. We took him to hos­pi­tal the next day to sort ev­ery­thing out. He had a frac­tured nose and eye.

I was fu­ri­ous and up­set know­ing that it was a ho­mo­pho­bic at­tack, we hadn’t started the fight, it was down to the fact that we had kissed.

I wanted to help him and try to break up the fight, but the girls were all hold­ing me back.

He had a brain scan and for the rest of his hol­i­day he was in a hos­pi­tal bed.

The reps re­ported the at­tack to the po­lice but noth­ing came of it. I am so thank­ful to him that he pushed me away, he put his life at risk for mine.

Af­ter that night hap­pened I toned all my clothes down.

I don’t dress flam­boy­antly, but I wanted to stay safe, I wasn’t danc­ing as much in clubs, I didn’t buy drinks that would be seen as fem­i­nine, I would buy pints and wear bor­ing T-shirts and jeans. It made me so cau­tious for the rest of the hol­i­day not to get too close to any­one, even the guys I was on hol­i­day with, just in case some­one spot­ted us and thought that me and my school friends were to­gether.

It put us on edge for the rest of the hol­i­day.

Dan Morris, 23, is from Car­marthen. He was on hol­i­day in Croa­tia when he was re­fused en­try to a club for be­ing a gay. The bouncer then at­tacked him...

I was with a close friend, and we de­cided one night to at­tend one of the pub crawls that oc­cur ev­ery day of the week for any traveller or young per­son on hol­i­day.

The pub crawl started like any other, I made friends with oth­ers who were also at­tend­ing the event and the night was go­ing well.

How­ever, a woman ac­ci­den­tally ripped the back of my shirt, which wasn’t a prob­lem with any of the staff mem­bers in the pubs we were en­ter­ing.

But when I tried to en­ter the last club, there seemed to be an is­sue al­low­ing me in due to the back of my shirt.

At the time me and the group of girls I was with were laugh­ing as we could see other peo­ple in­side who were quite clearly top­less or had their shirts opened.

We didn’t see any is­sue in this, so we asked again. The bouncer be­came ag­gres­sive and stated he was re­fus­ing to let me in due to me be­ing gay.

I tried to en­ter the club again when he be­came ag­gres­sive and hit me three times in the face. I was in shock.

That’s when I felt blood across my face.

My friend who I was on hol­i­day with had lost me along the pub crawl be­fore get­ting to the last stop, so I was with the women that I made friends with who were sup­port­ing me.

When I tried to show oth­ers what he had done to me, he at­tempted to at­tack me again be­fore some­one had grabbed him and stopped him.

The emo­tions I felt from this out­come was shock that some­thing like this would still happen in our so­ci­ety given the amount of change we have gone through.

The staff mem­bers at the venue could see the prob­lem that oc­curred and tried to calm the sit­u­a­tion and in­sin­u­ated that I change my shirt with the girl I was with so that I would be al­lowed into the club,

This dis­gusted me – they un­der­stood the sever­ity of ho­mo­pho­bia and wanted to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion by wear­ing my fe­male friend’s top.

I re­fused to do so and walked away.

The fol­low­ing day I wrote a com­plaint to the club it­self and the man­age­ment and got a friend from back home to do the same.

But, due to me leav­ing in two days’ time, there was not much I was ca­pa­ble of do­ing.

The out­come of this left me with a swollen face, black eye and caus­ing the car­ti­lage in my nose fur­ther dam­age.

Jack Gunter, 21 from Brid­gend, was en­joy­ing a night out in Brid­gend town cen­tre when he was kicked and punched in the face. Jack hasn’t been on a night out since the at­tack...

It was the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, and I was walk­ing to get food af­ter a night out, when these two boys started hurl­ing ho­mo­pho­bic abuse.

A friend stepped in said that what they were do­ing was wrong.

I went to pull her away and leave them be when they grabbed me and ended up punch­ing me.

I ended up on the floor and then one kicked me in the face – it could have po­ten­tially been lethal.

My glasses and phone were also smashed up.

I hope these boys get karma kicked into their face – I am not and will never be a vi­o­lent per­son, but I re­ally do hope that these two im­ma­ture, nar­row-minded and dis­gust­ing in­di­vid­u­als get what they de­serve.

I have re­ceived this kind of abuse be­fore, but I haven’t been at­tacked.

I am used to the name call­ing, I have learned to ig­nore that abuse but be­ing at­tacked is com­pletely dif­fer­ent. I now don’t feel that safe; I haven’t been on a night out since that night.

It has been 50 years since the par­tial de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of ho­mo­sex­ual sex in Eng­land and Wales. As thou­sands of peo­ple gather this week­end for Pride Cymru, three gay men tell Katie Bel­lis why the fight for equal­ity is not over yet...


Luke Randall, Dan Morris and Jack Gunter have each ex­pe­ri­enced hate crimes

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