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Proud all year round! Happy Pride!

Saturday August 19th is Chester Pride 2023. Here’s how we’ll be celebrating at Suzie K.

A Lammas feast set out with bread, cakes and mead

 

A little history of Pride


Pride parades and celebrations commemorate the Stonewall riots, which happened on June 28th 1969 when the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, was raided in the early hours by police using the excuse of confiscating illegal alcohol. The Stonewall Inn was an LGBT+ bar at a time when being gay was still illegal in most states, as was dressing in ‘the opposite clothes to your gender’ which particularly targeted drag queens and trans people. You can read more about the Stonewall Riots here.

When the police roughly arrested the bar staff and ‘cross dressing’ patrons, the crowd began to riot. The riots continued over several nights, and the Stonewall Inn became a focus point for LGBT+ activism. The events that year led to a far greater push for rights and equality for LGBT+ people.

A year later in 1970 on the anniversary of the riots, the first Pride march – known then as a Liberation March - took place in Greenwich Village. Several hundred people began marching, and by the time supporters from the crowd had joined, they numbered in their thousands.

LGBT+ rights activists in other countries were inspired to follow their lead, and the idea of Pride spread around the US and then to other countries, leading to the Pride celebrations we have today.

Particularly after AIDS became an international issue in the 1980s, Pride events focused on political and social activism. As more people began to accept the LGBT+ community, more straight allies and businesses began to participate in Pride events and they became much larger and more widespread.

Given the current worldwide political situation in 2023, in particular with the increasing prejudice against transgender people and drag, it’s very clear how important it still is to celebrate Pride.


Orchard apples

 

Chester Pride


Chester Pride began in 2013 with an event outside the Town Hall, attended by a couple of thousand people. The 2022 event was attended by 21,000. The popularity of the Chester Pride charity, which is led by volunteers, has seen them branch out into running fundraisers, events, a café - Rainbow Tearooms and a helpline - Just Ask.

 

How you can celebrate Chester Pride


This year’s Chester Pride is on Saturday 19th August. It starts at 12pm with a Parade through the city, to the event site in Castle Square.

You’ll need to get a ticket for entry into the main Castle Square area, but it’s pay what you can and all proceeds go to the Chester Pride charity and its community projects.

There are four stages with acts on from 1pm until 7.30pm – the Main Stage, the Runway Drag Stage, the Glitter Lounge cabaret and burlesque stage, and a stage especially for Youth Pride featuring entertainment aimed at families. There’s also community spaces for families, kids, teens and older people, a chill-out area and lots of stalls to browse for information, food, and shopping.


There's also a fabulous drag-cabaret Draglesque event on at St Mary's Creative Space on Friday 18th August, organised by the always awesome Goldust Events - you can read more and get tickets here.

 

How we'll be celebrating Pride at Suzie K


Each year we enjoy watching the Parade go by, as our shop is right on the Parade route. If you’re not sure where we are, we’re neighbours with Rainbow Café, who we’re very happy to support and receive support from since they opened. This year we’ve done a special window display to help paint the city rainbow – although the rainbow bunting had already been up for quite a while! It’s very important to us to clearly show our support for the LGBT+ community, not just during Pride month or Chester Pride, but throughout the year. Our shop has and will always be a welcoming and safe space for everyone from every walk of life, and that includes all LGBT+ folk.

As you can probably tell if you’ve visited our shop or website, we do love rainbows, so we’ve got a lot of lovely colourful treasures for you to browse on your way to the main event if you fancy popping into the shop – we’d love to say hi and share in some of the excitement with you!


Lammas pentagram made of twigs and dried orange

 


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