Launch of Eastbourne Pride 2017 is resounding success

Members of Bourne Out are organising Eastbourne Pride 2017 SUS-161122-124854001
Members of Bourne Out are organising Eastbourne Pride 2017 SUS-161122-124854001

More than 100 people attended the official launch of Eastbourne Pride 2017 held recently with organisers saying they are delighted with the level of support.

The procession and party has been confirmed for Saturday July 22 and has the full backing of Eastbourne Borough Council.

It has also received National Lottery funding and is being organised by Bourne Out, a group which supports the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Eastbourne.

Speakers at last week’s launch at Eastbourne Pier included Liberal Democrat council cabinet member Troy Tester, who made history in March 2014 when he married Aidan Neal and the became the first same-sex couple to marry in Eastbourne.

He said, “Society was less accepting when I grew up in the 90s but this type of event sends out a powerful message, especially to younger people. It can be very hard as a gay teenager struggling to realise exactly who you are.

“Eastbourne Borough Council is absolutely delighted that this event is going ahead.

“The powerful message I want to convoy is that our community will value our people regardless of their religion or sexuality.

“There are those who would turn back the clock regarding homosexuality laws - we all know that - and the recent hate crimes we have seen are just shocking.But I say that in Eastbourne we are going to defy this.”

Brett McLean from the Federation of Small Businesses, said the event would be “an amazing reason to come to Eastbourne”.

He said, “This will undoubtedly boost tourism locally and I say to Brighton Pride organisers - watch out.”

Organiser Betty Gallacher - the chair of lead group Bourne Out - confirmed there will be a procession along the seafront and a fun afternoon with live entertainment in Princes Park.

There will also be an after-party on Eastbourne Pier.

Ms Gallacher said, “This is going to be a first for Eastbourne, and this will be a real celebration of equality, diversity and families.

“We have tremendous support for this locally and it is an event that will grow and grow, I have no doubt about that. We must break down barriers of hate and homophobia.”

She said sponsors, volunteers and helpers are needed for the event. Email mandysmith007@aol.com for details.