THOUSANDS PAINT THE TOWN RAINBOW
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