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Kendal’s 1st Pride: Pride Done Differently


This July Kendal will be holding its first ever pride event.


We spoke with Duncan from Proud in Kendal about why having pride is important, their plans to support queer people in South Cumbria and what progress still needs to be made for LGBTQ+ people in Cumbria.


Kendal Pride’s logo. Photo credit: Kendal Pride Instagram


Duncan and a group of LGBTQ+ people, also part of Proud in Kendal, had been meeting up once a month for socials and this is when the idea of having a pride in Kendal emerged: “Conversations had been taking place about pride for quite a while but we're all pretty busy and it took a while for us to get into gear, but once we did and we got people around the table, things started happening quite quickly.”

Local drag king Andi Blewitt will be performing at this years first ever pride.

Photo credit Kendal Pride Instagram


Queer groups like Proud in Kendal and Lakes Queer Adventure (LQA) felt a focal point of their social activities was important to have and for them they believe that there’s an importance in visibility and celebration:


“We think that Kendal is a pretty accepting place and it’s just about time there was pride here.”


However despite the group thinking Kendal is an accepting place LGBTQ+ hate crimes in Cumbria have doubled according to the News and Star and it’s ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.

Although the statistics are worrying Duncan believes that pride in South Cumbria could be something special:

“We also think that it's a place that can have a unique kind of pride - thus 'pride done differently' - in that we wanted to celebrate the natural environment as well as the queer community, and show off everything Kendal has to offer as a place”

One of the many activities you can take part in at Kendal Pride is a 10km walk or a 7km run.

Photo credit: Kendal Pride Instagram


Kendal Pride is looking to extend the work they do alongside LQA and Brathay’s LGBTQ+ youth group and do some bigger events that happen throughout the year.


However, admittedly Duncan feels that funding is something they need in order to do this and the ambition is too invest profits from pride into these South Cumbrian queer groups.


Duncan’s goal is that having pride will benefit South Cumbria’s queer community:

“What we hope is that by having pride, we'll be able to build stronger connections between people through increased visibility and that'll snowball into more queer-led activities happening that people can make the most of.”


There’s free activities for families to take part in across Kendal Pride. Photo credit: Kendal Pride Instagram


Duncan and the LGBTQ+ groups across south Cumbria are also looking to offer free training around LGBTQ+ for businesses in the local area to help them become more inclusive and welcoming.


Duncan told us that one of the things they heard from the LGBTQ+ youth group was that they still find it difficult in terms of feeling accepted “when they go into some places in the town”. This relates to why Duncan is passionate about giving training to local businesses.

Duncan believes that "more work still needs to be done in terms of having more safe space for queer people and in particular young queer people."


In South Cumbria currently there are very little safe spaces for queer young people in comparison to North Cumbria in areas like Carlisle.

Drag Nova Gina will be hosting Kendal’s big pride party. Photo credit: Kendal Pride instagram


Kendal Pride kicks off on the 21 - 23 July and features theatre, drag, music and more. You can get your tickets for their ‘Big Pride Party’ here.

Jamie Hooper, the chair of the organising group, said:


“We really believe the programme offers a little bit of something for everyone and we’re looking forward to seeing people enjoy the weekend.”

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