Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Director tells of his pride in Thurrock’s first LGBTQ+ major celebration

MORE details have now been released about Thurrock’s first ever Pride event.

It will take place on Saturday, 8 June starting at 9.30am with a Pride Celebration Walk commencing at Purfleet Station, joined by the wider community to walk along the river front and Gray’s High Street.

Events will take place throughout the day, ending with the Great Big Queer Cabaret at Thameside Theatre.

Thurrock-born comedian and singer Jordan Gray will officially open the day, she is a British actor, comedian and screenwriter. Sirena Hart, will also be taking part, they are an artist and drag performer from East Anglia.

Organisers hope Thurrock Pride Festival will be a celebration of inclusivity with a powerful statement of visibility, acceptance and solidarity.

There will be a pre-Pride Party on 30 May with a host of events leading up to the official Thurrock Pride Day in June, most of which are free.

Events include live music, comedy, film, art workshops and drag performances.

At the start of the day walkers will be holding vibrant, bespoke silk flags created by Purfleet-based, arts organisation and event partner, Kinetika, alongside members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The walk will be led by event partner, T100 Festival – Thurrock’s Walking, Talking and Making Festival.

The Festival is also working with Essex Book Festival to include LGBTQ+ stories in the Human Library event at Grays Library on the same day.

Co-created by festival directors Arts Outburst, Thurrock Pride Festival 2024 is the first of its kind locally and a historic moment for LGBTQ+ and wider communities of Essex.

They wish to welcome the local people of Thurrock and people across the Southeast of England to join in, celebrate and be part of acceptance and equality at the event.

Daryl Branch, artistic director and CEO of Arts Outburst, says: “Arts Outburst are super proud to be delivering this historical moment in Thurrock.

“We believe that representation and equity are hugely important and play a massive part of the work we do.

“To be taking the lead of Thurrock Pride, using Arts and Culture to shape and tell that story, is very exciting for us and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the Thameside.”

Thurrock LGBTQ+ Community Network have secured funding and support to host this colourful community celebration from the National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, Start Thurrock and Riverside Community Grays Big Local, with additional support from rail company c2c.

Thurrock LGBTQ+ Community Network have been running monthly peer support drop-ins and social events for the last 18 months, which attracted up to 80 attendees.

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