It was an absolute privilege to be involved with Exmouth Pride on Saturday 17th June.

Streams of people thanked me for organising such a fantastic event, however as an ‘on the day volunteer’ I simply did not deserve such praise.

Whilst myself and over twenty other volunteers are essential so it runs smoothly, the whole event is down to just five unpaid committee members who do the unglamorous tasks and admin throughout the year to make it all happen. Pride is now an important part of Exmouth’s calendar and as a tourist destination and welcoming place to live it is good it is celebrated. Sadly, other Prides such as Exeter and Totnes did not take place this year due to organisational pressures which also apply to other treasured local events, such as Exmouth Carnival.

The Exmouth Pride committee put on an incredibly inclusive event. I am always bowled over by the age range of those enjoying their day.  Several families were there in support of their child, parent or even grandparent!

Of particular note is the provision of British Sign Language interpreters and the space given to the Deaf Academy whose performance was stunning and very moving. Many people from the wider deaf community had travelled to be there and enjoy the celebrations. All this would have required additional fundraising, organising and planning. The Bhangra workshop was brilliant at getting everyone up and active and the headline act Ruby May Spencer was a perfect quality performance to round off a fabulous day.

Exmouth is lucky to have such a vibrant and lively celebration, but it's worth remembering why Prides are still needed. Straight people don’t have to come out’ but many LGBT+ still do, often after experiencing shame and isolation. Unfortunately, LGBT+ conversion therapy has still not been banned and there is a rise in LGBT+ hate crime. Shockingly there is still the death penalty in 11 other countries!

I hope that you all enjoyed and appreciated the day as much as I did? Although the primary focus of the event is LGBT+ inclusion and visibility, the organizers go beyond this remit to make it inclusive for different ages, the deaf community and more. From all those present of the day, a huge thank you to the Exmouth Pride committee!