Pride in Diversity is the brainchild of the Reverend Leonora Wassell who is our chair. In the wake of the attack that killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Leonora decided that she wanted to do something to bring together diverse people of all faiths, non faiths, abilities, disabilities, race and colour.
She wanted to appeal to those who not only identify or have close connections with those of the LGBTQ+ community in Harrogate and the surrounding districts, but to engage with the wider community as well. With this in mind Pride in Diversity 2017 was born. It was attended by over 15000 people with family, friends, children and many local organisations from North Yorkshire Police to the NHS all present. Crucial to her vision was the principle that everything should be free for the end user. That the events should be open to all, regardless of income, ability, race, faith, gender etc. She believed that the event should represent true Diversity.
With the help of Awards for All, we had a Pride village set in the beautiful Valley Gardens in the centre of Harrogate. It gazebos and zones for Entertainment, Community, Faith & Wellness, as well as safe zones i.e. those with Autism etc. We will also have local traders and stalls of interest catering for children, adults, families, as well as LGBTQ+ elements. 2018 was bigger, and better than ever but, like every event, we want to get even better. Last year, we pulled in yet more people. We want to encourage more people from across the District, invite more local acts to perform and to provide services that we haven’t before.
Harrogate is a town renowned for it’s colourful gardens, parklands, and buildings. We want to make it known for it’s colourful people and personalities, the diversity that binds our community.