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One tiny, COVID-free corner of Britain will hold its Pride just like normal next month

One tiny, COVID-free corner of Britain will hold its Pride just like normal next month

  • The island of Guernsey says its Pride will be ‘one heck of a coming out party’.
The first Channel Islands Pride in Jersey in 2015.

The British island of Guernsey has given the green light for Pride to go ahead as normal on 12 September.

And organizers are expecting around 10% of the islands’ population to attend. It comes after the islands saw no new cases of COVID-19 since the end of April.

However guests from beyond the Bailiwick of Guernsey may struggle to join in the Channel Islands Pride festivities. Any new visitors to the islands have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The only exception is another independent British island, the Isle of Man. It also has similar coronavirus prevention policies and there’s an air bridge between them.

Indeed, even people from Jersey, which forms the other part of the Channel Islands won’t be able to attend. They are still struggling to contain the pandemic.

But those living on Guernsey and the other islands in the bailiwick – including Alderney, Sark, Herm – can now gather and live normal life without coronavirus restrictions.

Ellie Jones, is CEO of LGBT+ organization Liberate director of Channel Islands Pride. She told GSN the Pride festival is always a big hit on the islands.

‘Normally we get about 5,000 people which is about 10% of our population.

‘I think we’ll have similar numbers this year. Obviously we won’t have the visitors we usually get coming in. But I think more people from Guernsey will want to come out to celebrate.’

Indeed, Pride is usually only eclipsed by Liberation Day, when the islands celebrate their liberation from the Nazis at the end of World War II. As it was due to take place in May, it was one of a number of events Guernsey had to cancel or postpone this year.

Channel Islands Pride 2020

Jones said: ‘We are very excited to be able to proceed with our Pride as planned.

‘We know how incredibly lucky we are here in Guernsey to be able to host an event like this, this year.’

In particular, they hope to welcome people from the Isle of Mann. Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, is putting in a special weekend Pride flight.

‘We want to give them an especially warm welcome as they had to cancel what would have been their first ever Pride event,’ Jones added.

Meanwhile the States of Guernsey want the event to be ‘the biggest coming out party the islands have ever seen’.

It will focus on the march starting at 2pm on Saturday 12 September in Candie Gardens, St Peter Port. The parade will wind its way through the town into Market Square for the festival’s main party.

However there will also be other events, including a ‘Drag Queen Story Time Afternoon Tea in Teepee’, a Cabaret party and a post-Pride afternoon pool party and BBQ. You can find out more here.

Plans may change if coronavirus bounces back. However the island’s government has managed to control COVID-19 by closing its borders, quarantining visitors and putting in an effective track and trace system.

Organizers have cancelled at least 450 major Prides around the world this year. However, virtual events like GSN’s Digital Pride are recreating the spirit of Pride in new and innovative ways.