Original article from Kent Live
Medway is set to celebrate its very first LGBTQ+ pride event later this month, as part of an eight day programme across North Kent supporting the community.
Medway Pride Festival is described as a "colourful, fun-filled event for all the family to enjoy" and will champion diversity and equality for all communities in the local area.
It is part of an eight day programme of events in North Kent to support the LGBTQ+ community, beginning with Gravesham Pride on Saturday (August 14).
The event will be held at Rochester Riverside Walk in Doust Way from 11am to 8pm on Saturday, August 21.
All tickets have now been booked but residents are able to sign up to a waiting list, in case any tickets are returned.
Medway Council is supporting Medway Pride, which is being organised in partnership with volunteer group Medway Pride CIC, supported by Countryside, Hyde Housing, the Rochester Riverside Community Fund and other sponsors.
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There will be a number of performances, including from ABBA Chique, Chai Latte, River Medway, Kelly Wilde and Sami Brooks, as well as the opportunity to meet with support organisations such as Medway Gender & Sexual Diversity Centre, METRO Charity and Stand Out Group.
Additionally, there will be an opportunity to be creative in the chalk gallery at INTRA Arts, as well as the venue hosting an LGBTQIA+ history in Medway display until Friday, August 20.
Medway libraries are also celebrating the event, with the Rochester Community Hub currently having a range of books on display which explore LGBTQIA+ themes or are written by LGBTQIA+ authors.
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am very pleased, and proud, that we are supporting Medway’s very first Pride event which will celebrate our diverse community.
"We take our role in supporting and protecting Medway’s LGBTQIA+ community very seriously and we work with the community to provide advice, guidance and support.
"Medway Pride is just one of the festivals in our fantastic family-friendly summer events programme which celebrates Medway’s culture and communities, past, present and future as the area bids to become UK City of Culture 2025."
The council’s Youth Service has also teamed up with Porchlight to offer young people aged 13 to 18, who are LGBTQIA+, or think they may be, safe spaces to meet new people and share their experiences and feelings.
The Be You sessions also offer information, advice and support to Medway’s young people with sessions being held at Youth Centres across the area.
Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, added: “I am pleased that we are working with Porchlight to offer LGBTQIA+ young people, and those who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, safe places across Medway where they can meet to socialise, have fun and offer support to one another.
"I would encourage young people to access the support available. Both Medway Pride, and the Be You sessions, supports our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.”
Visit the Medway Pride website for any further information.