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Bristol backs Pride despite Olympic cash rush

Bristol Pride in south west England overcomes money struggles to return this summer
Bristol Pride will return this year for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in south west England.
Photo by Paul Green.

Bristol’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride will take place from 7 to 15 July this year, having overcome a ‘real struggle’ to find enough money to go ahead.

Organisers of the festival in south west England say they had to battle against the Olympics being most sponsors’ focus for 2012.

Pride boss Daryn Carter told Gay Star News: ‘We’ve been working on this year’s pride since August. A lot of people don’t know that we start as soon as last year’s event finishes. That’s when we realised the Olympics would be sponsors’ main focus for 2012.

‘It’s been a real struggle. We’ve had to be creative. People say to us that they don’t have any money but can they do something else.

‘Due to the Olympics a lot of festivals nationally, not just in the South West, have either cancelled or moved to avoid them. We thought about it, but in a year that has seen more teen suicides and LGBT bullying and reports of hate crime on the increase it would have been a shame not to have anything at all.’

Successfully relaunched in 2010 after having not taken place since 1997, the struggles have lead to new features this year, with the sponsors backing a community area and family area. The free event also promises film, music, theatre, shopping and sport. The week will culminate on 14 July with the We Are: Proud event on College Green which will feature a pride parade followed by a street fiesta and after party.

Daryn told Gay Star News that ‘having a gay incoming Lord Mayor has made sure there is a real push. Everybody really wants it to happen. The community is pulling together and asking what they can do. Support has been overwhelming.

‘[This year] promises to be bigger and better than ever.’

For more information on 2012 Bristol Pride click here.

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