Raising the Flag for Pride with Pride
South Shields Town Hall is flying the Progress Pride Flag to mark Pride Day today (28 June).
South Tyneside Council has raised the new more inclusive version of the rainbow flag to show support for LGBTQ+ communities (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer plus identities) locally and around the world, to help promote acceptance and equality and raise awareness of LGBT+ history, issues and rights to live and love.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We are always supportive of our LGBTQ+ community and extremely proud to fly the flag on Pride Day.
"Pride is about promoting inclusivity and encouraging everyone to be proud of who they are. It reminds us that people should be free to love who they want and feel they can express themselves in safety, without fear of reprisal.
"While changes in attitudes, behaviour and legislation have made real strides over the years, the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination and we want to help change that. We are committed to making a better future for all our residents and we continue to embrace equality and diversity in all of our policies and practices."
While communities continue to mark Pride during Pride Month (June) and beyond, work is also underway behind the scenes as the Council supports South Tyneside's LGBTQ+ community to work towards a Pride event to take place in the Borough in June 2023.
A working group has already been set up involving a range of organisations to collaborate on an event. Local communities will also be encouraged to get involved at the time, with anything from dressing their premises in pride colours to holding their own pride events and activities.
Councillor Dixon added: "It's only right that we support, embrace and celebrate our unique and diverse local communities and we are already working with our LGBTQ+ community to develop an event in South Tyneside next year.
"The 2023 Pride event will provide a platform for our local community to make a powerful statement that promotes and celebrates a culture of acceptance, inclusivity and encouragement."
More information about the 2023 event will be made available in due course as plans develop.
Pride is celebrated during June because it was the month of the Stonewall riots in 1969 - the protests that changed gay rights for many people worldwide.
Pride Day is 28 June, marking the date in history when the first pride march was held in New York City in 1970. However, different communities celebrate Pride on different days and months.
This year (2022) also marks 50 years since the first Pride march in the UK, in London's Trafalgar Square.