Bolton Pride

Bolton Pride - The story so far

Bolton Pride - The Story So Far

Why did it start?

It has been said that it can take a shock to trigger recovery and in February 2015 it seemed that Bolton was in need of a recovery. GMP released hate crime statics and reports of homophobia had risen 135% in 12 months.

On paper, in black and white they are staggering statistics that could not be ignored. Having a conversation about this, founders Mark Geary and James Edgington threw some ideas down to run also discussing ideas with Lisa O’Neil Rogan who had worked on various diversity and inclusivity projects in the town which meant the core of Bolton Pride was created.

The team quickly made plans and began discussions with Bolton Council as to where Bolton’s first Pride event could take place and what it would mean. It was apparent that this would be a hate crime campaign reaching out to the community to develop relationships with businesses and charities in the area to support the LGBT community.

The slogan Love Bolton, Hate Homophobia soon became the tag line for Bolton Pride.

The first Bolton Pride

The inaugural Bolton Pride was to be a weekend of events engaging with the community including a children’s football tournament run by Bolton Wanderers and Football Vs Homophobia. Acknowledgement was to be given to other individuals and organisations supporting the Bolton LGBT community by celebrating them at the Bolton Pride LGBT awards at The Whites Hotel.

The weekend was to continue with a full day of cabaret at The Venue in Bolton’s town centre. Holiday Inn hosted a full family market day which made for a stunning Sunday afternoon at Bolton Pride, well attended, bringing a diversity of people together to support LGBT matters in the town many people the attended a candlelit walk to the Town Hall steps for a vigil held to support people affected by hate crime in the town.

With speakers including Greater Manchester Police Commissioner and author Matt Cain Bolton’s first Pride was brought to a close with the Town Hall as a backdrop lit in the colours of the rainbow flag.

Bolton Pride was launched in style and put on the map with acknowledgement from The independent’s Rainbow ‘ones to watch’ listAttracting the support of famous faces including Christopher Eccleston and Jo Joyner with attendance from Sir Ian McKellen himself.

With still so much work to do in the town for the LGBT community it is exciting that there is growing support with a couple of churches gaining licences for gay marriage, growing partnerships between varied organisations and LGBT socials happening regularly in the town.

Bolton Pride will continue to grow and promote the original message of Love Bolton, Hate Homophobia. 2016 will see Bolton’s first Pride parade and outdoor stage in Victoria Square keeping the campaign visible promoting diversity in the town.

Looking Forward

Our website focuses on the ongoing work that Bolton Pride is doing within the Bolton LGBT community.

Here you will find information about the LGBT social group and club events and the forthcoming Out In Bolton Network.

The Events Diary will help you keep up to date which comign events and activities such as IDAHOBIT, TDOR, World Aids Day and many other events which support Bolton's amd the wider regions LGBT community.

Thank you for supporting Bolton Pride and LGBT Bolton - Love Bolton, hate homophobia.

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