Pride In Our City Digital Exhibition

Humber Museums Partnership - Pride In Our City Digital Exhibition

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About Pride In Our City Digital Exhibition

“It’s become interwoven within the city’s fabric. It represents its people, the people who live here or work here, and the people who visit. I think it just makes the city a more vibrant place to be. That’s why it’s important.” – Andy

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many events were cancelled this year – including Pride in Hull.

Here at Hull Museums we also had to temporarily close our doors and put a lot of our plans on hold. However, this allowed us to reach out to our audiences in new and exciting ways. We were able to digitally connect with individuals at home and it became clear we could still bring people together to create something special to celebrate Pride 2020 – and here it is!

All the content that makes up Pride in Our City has been submitted or created during lockdown. Participants have recorded their own videos, capturing their own voices, to share their experiences and thoughts. Others have shared text, poems and images; all to illustrate what Pride means to them.

We hope that this exhibition helps to share the importance of Pride to Hull and its people, and shows that just because we aren’t celebrating together this year, that doesn’t mean that we are celebrating alone.

An introduction to the Pride Movement

When police raided the Stonewall Inn, Manhattan, on 28th June 1969, it sparked three nights of unrest known as the Stonewall Uprising. Its clientele of LGBTQ+ people, long frustrated by police brutality, finally fought back. Lesbians and trans women of colour, notably Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, were some of the key people involved in the act of resistance.

One year later the Christopher Street Liberation Day March took place, spearheaded by a group of activists that included Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Linda Rhodes and Brenda Howard, for the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

This is widely considered as the first Pride event and attracted over 1,000 participants. Pride has ever since been an important reminder of the power of standing together in defiance of those who seek to divide us.

Three years later, on 1st July 1972, the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF) followed their American comrades in holding Britain’s first ever Pride march. About 2,000 LGBTQ+ people, many in drag, marched through central London, culminating with a kiss-in at Trafalgar Square. The date was chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of Stonewall – a conscious homage to the rebellion’s first spark.

The rest of the UK followed over the years, meaning there are around 200 various Pride events in the UK to date.

On 17th June 2019, almost exactly 50 years after Stonewall, a crowd of gay, lesbian, trans, non-binary and queer activists gathered at Trafalgar Square, the site of the first London Pride march in 1972. The original GLF members, now in their seventies, gave speeches – and were joined by new, younger activists, with every generation and ethnicity of queer life represented. The original GLF demands, drafted by John Chesterman, were read out – and several modern ones added, focusing on Pride once again defining itself as a protest, free and accessible to all, with environmental consciousness.

Marching with Pride!

Pride is a protest, and these photographs show some of the placards that people have carried in the parade during Pride in Hull.

Many messages are shared this way, from demands for equality and change to declarations of support, togetherness, and pride.

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

    A Pride in Hull attendee, draped in a Pride flag and holding a sign which reads, some people are gay. Get over it.
  • Copyright - Michelle Bell

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

    A Pride in Hull attendee holding a sign which reads, we will not be silenced love wins
  • Copyright - Margaret Lonsdale

  • Copyright - Michelle Bell

  • Copyright - Katy Bell

    A young child at Pride in Hull holding a sign which reads, walking with our mummys with Pride.
  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Hull Daily Mail

Bringing Pride to Hull

The very beginning of Pride in Hull, or Hull Pride as it was known back then.

The event was organised by The Warren women’s group and attended by several hundred people and happened out of an urgent need for LGBTQ+ representation in the city and took place in Queens Gardens.

By 2011 the event had moved to Hull’s West Park, celebrating its 10th anniversary headlined by The Vengaboys.

In 2015, Hull Pride was relaunched as Pride in Hull and took place on Baker Street in Hull City Centre, where it remained until 2016. 2015 was also the year Pride in Hull became a registered charity.

Pride in Hull was named the inaugural UK Pride, as well as Hull being the UK City of Culture. Pride and City of Culture celebrated LGBT50, the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, with an incredible homecoming – returning to Queens Gardens for the first time since 2003, bringing 44,000 back to Pride’s roots in the city.

Pride in Hull kept growing and welcomed over 50,000 people to the party in 2019 – a fifth of the population of the entire city! Becoming one of the biggest events in Hull and one of the biggest free Pride events in the country.

The event marked 50 years since the Stonewall uprising by parading an original Gilbert Baker Pride flag through the streets and volunteers carried specially designed placards marking 5 decades of LGBTQ+ protest, to remind us that Pride is a protest!

In the words of Pride in Hull –

“The remit of our event is simple. We’re here to celebrate the LGBT+ community with our friends and allies. We’re here to celebrate diverse sexualities and genders. We’re here to uplift communities. We’re here to tell people that they do fit in here. And we do it with a great big massive parade, equal parts protest and party.”

While this year, there was no physical event due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Pride in Hull was part of Global Pride, a 26-hour event steamed across the world.

With a performance from Bright Light Bright Light, and an interview with Queen Harold from The House Of Kings And Queens, a home belonging to a young transgender woman that has become a sanctuary for the LGBT+ community in Freetown, Hull’s sister city in Sierra Leone.

On 25th – 26th July they showed us even a global pandemic won’t stop Pride in Hull, with a day filled with exciting online content marking Pride in Hull 2020 – Home Edition.

In the videos below, members of the Pride in Hull team explain what this event means to them and how all their hard work means that people from across our city can “top up” their pride for the whole year through.

For more videos from the Pride in Hull team, just follow the links below or view the complete collection of Pride In Our City videos on our YouTube playlist.

Lewis, the Gender Diversity Officer chats about how LGBTQ+ rights still have a long way to go in the fight for equality – CLICK HERE

Heidi-Victoria, the Finance Director, explains why Pride in Hull is for everyone including allies, families and parents – CLICK HERE

Charlye, the Family Area Coordinator, shares why being part of the Pride in Hull team makes them proud – CLICK HERE

Full YouTube playlist – CLICK HERE

Find out more about Pride In Hull – CLICK HERE

Find out more about Yorkshire MESMAC – CLICK HERE

“Time to say bye, biphobia”

As the parade passes through Hull, the city is filled with a sea of rainbows, music, and joy.

Representation is essential. Marching in the parade has given many people different things, from liberation to a feeling of belonging. For those who are not openly able to be themselves, the parade can offer a sense of hope and validation, a visible representation of support and acceptance.

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Gaynor Harkin

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

  • Copyright - Andy Medcalf

The light of Pride gives me a chance to reveal a truth untold.
As I step away from wrongful shame, to be strong, and proud and bold.
Our mother was Aphrodite, Hermes, they say was our dad.
But through our social constructs, our existence was deemed to be bad.
“Hide them away, never speak of their kind”
The eyes of human truth must forever be blind.
Yet for centuries we have existed, blended in with Adam and Eve.
Pride, for me, is about acceptance and diversity, and this message is what I believe:

Intersex people are valid.
This invisibility and stigma must be addressed.
That’s why I represent the ‘i’ with my LGBTQIA+ siblings.
Because no human should be repressed.

By Amazon

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Copyright - Amazon

  • Copyright - Hull Museums

  • Copyright - Hull Daily Mail

  • Copyright - Hull Museums

“One people. One world. One love.”

In 1972 the first Pride march took place in Britain, and now London and Manchester Pride are recognised as large-scale establish events. It might not be as large, but Pride in Hull is well-known for providing a family-friendly atmosphere for all ages to enjoy.

A Pride event is made by its surrounding community, and Hull is no different – Pride in Hull has been fully embraced by the local community. In 2017, as Hull simultaneously celebrated being UK City of Culture, the streets were filled with hundreds of volunteers, in their iconic blue, purple and pink uniforms – with the addition of one or two rainbows!

“It’s important for people just to see that level of acceptance and feel safe and loved.” – Heidi

Stepping Out in Hull

Step Out is a support group for LGBTQ+ young people aged 11+, who want to socialise with other young people experiencing similar things. Carden and Viv share below why Step Out at Pride is important them.

“This was last year, I was closeted as trans, but bought a trans flag “for a friend” just so I didn’t have to pretend to be cis all day. It was probably the first pride where I’ve felt proud to be me, even if I wasn’t sure who I was then.

I felt like it was okay for me to be confused, and that people around were willing to help. My friends were proud of me and helped me to be me.” – Carden, Step Out member

“What makes Pride amazing for me is parading with the Step Out group – seeing the young people in an environment where they feel no need to hide. Many of the members have told me over the years pride is where they first discovered that there are other people like them. That they thought there was something wrong with them until they went to pride, where they suddenly felt validated and “found their people”!

Pride in Hull have a created an event for everyone, where the community might go just because it’s massive and free, but it’s also where the LGBTQ+ community allows teens, people who just want a day out, and families with young children to be part of their day. Children who will then grow up going to Pride and seeing an event where everyone is welcome and supported. The knock-on effect of this can only be a good thing, it breeds allies, and welcomes questioning young (and older) people to discover themselves!

Pride is important to me because I want the young people I work with to know that the allies outnumber the bullies. It sounds cheesy but watching them discover literally thousands of people who support them is priceless” – Vivienne, Step Out worker

Find out more about Step Out – CLICK HERE

“I’m okay to be exactly who I want to be and I don’t have to hide any part of myself, and I know I’m not going to get judged for my name or my pronouns.” – Dan

In 2019, 50,000 people attended Pride in Hull – were you there?

When Pride in Hull began there was just “several hundred” people in attendance. As the years passed, the crowds grew. By 2017, over 44,000 people came into Hull to celebrate together.

As the numbers increased further still in 2019, but with the cancellation of Pride in Hull 2020, 2021 is expected to be a particularly special event for many.

“I was so nervous of what people would think; when I got there, I realised no one cared because we all just wanted to be accepted for who we are.” – Lauren

“I am a pansexual finromantic drag queen and I started doing drag 4 years ago at Hull Pride. I’d never been a fully outed gay man in makeup in public before and the reception was magnificent. No one was taking any notice of the fact I was a man and wearing makeup, no one was calling me weird, no one was making fun of my funny walk because I’m disabled or because I had no heels on because of it. For the first time in my life I felt fully accepted. My first parade was one to remember. I was in the actual parade and walked the streets of Hull dressed in a full pansexual flag. People cheered. I was finally able to express who I was without fear of ridicule. Since then, I have worn my gender expression and sexuality on my sleeve with pride. I have a drag account on Instagram, and I show off my work when I was too embarrassed before. I was 14 when I first started drag as a shy baby queen; I’m now 18 with a fully realised persona and a newfound confidence. Since then I’ve attended every parade in full drag. Last year, I went to Pride in a wheelchair in full drag and I was so nervous of what people would think; when I got there, I realised no one cared because we all just wanted to be accepted for who we are and we all were. I never missed out on a second because every place was accessible, something not a lot of places think about. I’ve missed out on so many moments with my family, friends and girlfriend because disability is a second thought; Pride was the complete opposite. It’s such an amazing experience every year.” – Lauren

“Pride is where you can feel safe and secure about being who you are. I love how much support and love you can get from the Pride team and from the events that they run. Pride is very important as it helps so many people, and if I’m honest a lot of people could be lost without that important support.” – Josh

“It’s our everyday life, it’s not just a one-off event, it is something that is all year round and it needs to be remembered year-round.” – Leyla

“I can be me, for that one day I can be truly me.” – Felix

For many, attending a Pride event is the one time a year that they can be their true authentic self without fear of repercussion. Pride in Hull offers a safe environment for all, to discover that they are not alone and that there is support available to them if they need it.

Alongside the party and the protest, Pride in Hull also provides a space for local charities, support groups and business to come together and share what services they have available throughout the rest of the year, and to demonstrate that they are places of acceptance and inclusion.

“When you’re working out if the world is a scary place, to feel the positivity of hundreds of people cheering you on in the city where you live is a phenomenal experience.” – Emma

“The thing that makes Pride special for me is the marching in the parade. There is something really powerful and life affirming when we are seen for who we are in all our guises coming together in love.

I can remember a couple of years ago when I was at the front of the parade and we were celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 and I was at the front because I was one of the people taking part who was over 50. And as we turned the corner into Whitefriargate we were met with this huge crowd of onlookers who were cheering us on, had lined the streets and were clapping and waving their rainbow flags. It was such an overwhelming sight that it made me cry. It was a beautiful moment. And walking down that street with all those people cheering on, it just felt like they had my back and that I was seen and valued as part of the community of Hull. It was such a special moment and I feel like every single person should be able to experience something like that, to experience being encouraged and supported to be who we are. It was joyous.

As a youth worker who runs a group for LGBT+ young people, I can appreciate how the experience of being in the parade when you are a young person can positively impact on your sense of self. Especially when you are trying to work out who you are and wanting to be accepted and how important it feels to fit in, When you’re working out if the world is a scary place, to feel the positivity of hundreds of people cheering you on in the city where you live is a phenomenal experience.” – Emma

“Pride for our family is about teaching our daughter about why Pride exists and why we go as allies to the LGBTQ community to celebrate and support.” – Jenny

Pride in Hull is for everyone. If you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, Pride in Hull is about acceptance, diversity and coming together to support those around us.

Pride would not be the event it is today without the support of allies; those who are visibly supportive of their LGBTQ+ friends, family, and colleagues.

“What does Pride mean to me? It’s reassurance, it’s a party, it’s a protest and it’s defiance as well.” – Lord Mayor Steve Wilson

In May 2019 Lord Mayor Steve Wilson became Hull’s first openly gay Lord Mayor in a same-sex marriage. In the video below, the Lord Mayor and his consort Karl Hudder recall their most memorable moments and why they have pride in Hull.

“Because prejudice still exists, it’s important that an environment is cultivated where we can all show we are allies.” – Jason

These photographs show Hull during Pride. The city decorated with rainbows, visibly showing support, and celebrating with its people.

On 24th July 2020, the Pride flag was raised above the Guildhall in Hull to mark the weekend of Pride.

Being LGBTQ+ in sport

Openly identifying as anything other than heterosexual in a professional group sport is rare. LGBTQ+ players are hugely underrepresented, and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are common in these sports.

In 2009 Welsh rugby union’s Gareth Thomas became the first professional male player in a team sport to come out whilst still an active player. In June 2020 Hull City’s own Thomas Beattie became just the second ever male professional football player from the UK to come out as gay, following Justin Fashanu in 1990.

The Hull Roundheads RUFC formed in 2018, joining a global community of Inclusive Rugby where men of any gender, sexuality or race can come together for the love of the sport.

For more videos from the Roundheads team, just follow the links below or view the complete collection of Pride In Our City videos on our YouTube playlist.

In 2004, bad weather meant that Pride in Hull had to be moved inside. David talks about memories of that day, and how it was commemorated during the 2017 celebrations – CLICK HERE

Ben discusses why people can feel proud they are from Hull when they attend Pride – CLICK HERE

Danny and Craig discuss why there will always be a need for Pride, and why a continued need to fight for equality and LGBTQ+ rights means that Pride is more important than ever – CLICK HERE

Chris discusses how the repeal of Section 28 has influenced education and why representation is vital for supporting young people – CLICK HERE

Liam shares experiences of homophobia in 2020 and discusses with Craig where to get support in Hull – CLICK HERE

Billy shares with Jose, Craig, Steven and Toby why Pride is important for helping to support families and changing perspectives – CLICK HERE

Jamie and Harrison chat about why being visible and community support makes Pride in Hull an amazing event for all – CLICK HERE

Full YouTube playlist – CLICK HERE

Find out more about the Roundheads – CLICK HERE

“Until everybody feels the way that they feel while they are at Pride every single day of their lives, there will always be a place for Pride.” – Craig

In 1978 Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag. Baker, an openly gay man and drag queen, created the flag as a symbol for the LGBTQ+ rights movement as he saw flags as the most powerful representation of pride. Since then, there have been many other flags introduced to represent LGBTQ+ communities. Including – but not limited to – the bisexual flag designed by Michael Page in 1998, the trans flag designed by Monica Helms in 1999, and the non-binary flag designed by Kye Rowan in 2014.

“Pride gives a voice to those of us in our city who have doubted our ability to be ourselves – what could be more valuable than that?” – Claire

All the videos created by participants for this exhibition can be viewed on our Pride In Our City YouTube playlist – CLICK HERE

A special thank you to all who have created, submitted or shared their content for Pride In Our City.
We can’t wait to see you all at Pride in Hull 2021.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to submit you own content please contact us at

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