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Forest Gate Pride happening this weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:56 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:36 02 July 2019

Around 500 people attended Pride in Forest Gate last year. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.

Around 500 people attended Pride in Forest Gate last year. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.

Forest Gayte Pride

People from all over the borough will be marking the gay community's place in Newham this weekend as the annual Gay Pride march makes its way through Forest Gate.

LGBTQ and allied families will be able to enjoy a 'playstreet' on Earlham Grove this year. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.LGBTQ and allied families will be able to enjoy a 'playstreet' on Earlham Grove this year. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.

Moving from Earlham Grove along Forest Gate's main streets, the march is an opportunity to make LGBTQ people visible and a chance for allies to show their support.

Events around the march will celebrate gay culture and aim to provide spaces for people of all sexualities and genders to express themselves.

The people that run 'Forest Gayte Pride' estimate more than 500 people went to Pride events in Forest Gate last year.

Friday, June 28, will mark 50 years since the riots at New York City's Stonewall Club in 1969 began what has become the modern 'Gay Pride' movement.

Forest Gayte Pride organiser Dom Holmes (right). Picture: Courtesy of Dom Holmes.Forest Gayte Pride organiser Dom Holmes (right). Picture: Courtesy of Dom Holmes.

"One thing that we feel very strongly about is that Pride should be regarded as a protest, not a party," said one of the organisers, Dom Holmes.

"We believe being out and proud is still a challenge we face even in the current climate."

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She added that the main goal was to create a safe space for LGBTQ people to express themselves, give information and advice to the community and educate on LGBTQ issues.

The four organisers, all from Forest Gate also want to draw awareness to the fact that homophobic hate crimes are on the rise - up 46 per cent in London since 2015 according to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

That rise is lower in Newham, but the number is still growing. There were 74 hate crimes relating to sexual orientation in May this year, up 27 per cent from June 2015.

The events in Forest Gate will also try to sideline big corporations, which have become increasingly visible at Pride events in recent years.

Instead, it will try to push marginalised groups to the forefront.

A rainbow zebra crossing at last year's event. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.A rainbow zebra crossing at last year's event. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride. Picture: Forest Gayte Pride.

"Smaller events such as ours allow this activism to take centre stage," added Ms Holmes.

Businesses still have their place at the Newham event, though. Local enterprises like the Forest Tavern and Pretty Decent Beer Company have given their support.

Among the activities planned are a music and spoken word event at The Gate Library on Friday and a 'Pride playstreet' on Saturday for LGBTQ families and allies.

Events are running from Friday, June 28, to Sunday, June 30. Full details of the line-up can be found at forestgaytepride.com.

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