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First LGBTQ+ Dover Pride event on August 31

Dover will have its first Pride event.

It will involve a march, rally and celebration of the town's LGBTQ+ community on Saturday, August 31.

And now the event has been given a boost by Dover Town Council agreeing to providing £1,500 and becoming a partner of the event.

The Canterbury Pride parade on June 16. Picture: Chris Davey
The Canterbury Pride parade on June 16. Picture: Chris Davey

Councillors, at last night's full meeting, voted overwhelmingly for this.

Deputy mayor Dominic Howden, who recommended the move, said in a report to the council: "By sponsoring and supporting this first Dover Pride, DTC will deliver for an important and under-represented group of communities."

The town council's support will mean it is credited as a partner and have a banner on Biggin Hall where some activities take place.

Cllr Howden wrote: "All this is in addition to supporting a new event in the town and clearly delivering its legal duties to vulnerable groups in our community."

Last summer's Margate Pride Picture: Jarred Henderson
Last summer's Margate Pride Picture: Jarred Henderson

Organisers of Dover Pride told councillors that members of the LGBTQ+ community still suffered prejudice and discrimination despite the level of laws now in force to protect them.

One of the group, called Emma, said: "A total of 87% report being insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed."

Cllr Tyler Howell-Bray said: "These are people that face a considerable amount of oppression through ignorance."

Pride is seen as raising the profile of this community and connecting people within its membership.

Emma said: "LGBTQ+ people are invisible, not only to the public but also to each other."

Deputy mayor Dominic Howden
Deputy mayor Dominic Howden

Cllr Howden's report explained that Dover Pride will raise awareness, support, self-worth, respect, courage and visibility while reflecting on the history, politics and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.

The event will start at 11am with a march leaving fromMarket Square forDover Town Hall, with people in costumes carrying flags and banners.

Read more: Where are Pride events happening in Kent this summer? Everything you need to know

Participants need to register to join the parade and afterwards there will be music and entertainment in the Town Hall.

Biggin Hall will become a Dover Pride Café offering a more quiet space and family entertainment.

Dover Pride comes to an end at 9.30pm.

The Canterbury Pride parade last month
The Canterbury Pride parade last month

Dover's first Pride is on the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall riots, the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement.

That uprising, from June 28 to July 3, 1969,was sparked by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York.

Neighbouring Kent towns such as Margate and Canterbury already have established Pride events.

They were originally called Gay Pride but the name was altered to cover all parts of the LGBTQ+ community.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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