Pride in Our Past official launch party Friday 1st July 2011

Friday 1st July 2011 marked the official launch of the Plymouth Pride Forum’s “Pride in our Past” project and a large number of dignitaries and members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans community turned out to celebrate the event.

The atmosphere of the Pride in Our Past launch was warm and mellow. The ambience set by subtle lighting and the smooth sounds of jazz performed by Louise Parker accompanied by Neil Burns. A team of volunteers for the project kept the wine flowing and canapés circulating creating an evening to be proud of.

The Plymouth Pride Forum is a community group formed to promote understanding and respect for LGBT people, and their communities, by increasing awareness of their needs as a result of working in partnership with statutory and voluntary services throughout the city. The idea to create an archive of the community’s memories and experiences was born through the realisation that some of the older members of the community had witnessed a change in attitudes during their lifetime that was unlikely to be repeated in history. This vision has been supported by both the Plymouth City Council, who have committed to hosting an exhibition of the group’s findings in April 2012, and also the National Lottery Heritage Fund who provided a £35000 grant to support the group’s work.

The Barbican Theatre, Plymouth hosted the launch event with it’s director Sheila Snellgrove stating

“I look forward to supporting and encouraging the Plymouth Pride Forum to write LARGE our city’s rich and diverse history. I strongly believe the exhibition will encourage more young people to take pride in who they are.”

Other guests included Plymouth’s Lord and Lady Mayor, the Heritage Lottery fund’s own Hilary Bracegirdle, Councillors Tudor Evans and Chris Penberthy along with Alison Seabeck MP who remarked:

This is an amazing project – having worked for the minister responsible for taking the repeal of Section 28 through parliament I know just how important these critical events can be and what a difference they make.

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