Angela Eagle, Britain’s first out lesbian Member of Parliament, has become the first ever patron of Liverpool pride.
She said she is ‘proud’ to be given the honor and to lead the LGBT parade through the center of the English city.
‘Liverpool Pride does so much to celebrate the diversity in communities across Merseyside,’ Eagle said.
‘It also works to tear down barriers, stand up for rights and insist on equality for LGBT people.
‘And although only in its early years, the annual Liverpool pride festival is already rivalling similar events around the globe. The festival positively represents the Liverpool city region as the wonderfully colorful, vibrant and accepting place that it is.
‘It also serves as a reminder that the world has no place for discrimination and prejudice. It certainly has no place on Merseyside.’
Eagle will attend the third annual pride on Saturday (4 August), where she will make a short speech before the march begins.
The current Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and chair of the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum campaigned for LGBT equality throughout her career and played a leading role in the abolition of anti-gay laws including the Tories’ Section-28 which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools.
Zoran Blackie, Chair of Liverpool Pride said: ‘Liverpool Pride is honored that such an inspirational figure within the campaign for the rights of LGBT people in this country is willing to stand with us in recognizing and supporting the needs of our community.
‘I am delighted that she will be helping us to lead the march through Liverpool city centre, as she represents what we are all about – our LGBT community making a difference in our city and showing us off to the country.’
Liverpool Pride started just two years ago and has grown to be one of the biggest free gay festivals in the country, after London.
The inaugural event attracted over 20,000 people and doubled to over 44,000 last year.
The city’s gay village in the Stanley Street area will hold a street party after the parade and there will be live music stages both there and at the Waterfront.
If you want to take part in the pride march, register online at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk/march before tomorrow (31 July).