Mid Ulster Pride, the Province’s first Rural LGBTQ+ organisation has officially launched their Pride Celebrations for 2022. The committee members of Mid Ulster Pride were joined by the Chairperson of Mid Ulster District Council, Cora Corry and representatives from The Rainbow Project, The Gay Farmer Helpline, and the charity Mermaids UK which advocates for transgender and non-binary youth across the UK.
Every year Mid Ulster Pride has a “Focus” - An aspect of LGBTQ+ life that we chose to shine a light on. The first parade focused on the challenges of isolation in the rural community space and used the strict lockdown measures to highlight this. The second parade had a focus on “Coming Out” as lockdown restrictions were lifted, Mid Ulster Pride used this as an analogy for living your most authentic life. This year Mid Ulster Pride is choosing to focus on the difficulties faced by the Transgender community in Northern Ireland, the issues they face and the difficulty of accessing healthcare in this Province.
Mid Ulster Pride are delighted to announce a programme of events leading up to their Pride Parade on the 13th of August. The programme this year includes chances to socialise in safe spaces, and learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ struggle in Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday the 27th of July Mid Ulster District Council, Mid Ulster Pride, and the LGBT Heritage Project at the Linen Hall Library present an LGBTQ+ History Screening. Two separate documentaries will be shown - The Troubles I’ve Seen is a series of interviews with people who grew up LGBTQ+ during the Troubles. Pride of Place is the hit documentary shown nationwide on the BBC last year about Mid Ulster Pride’s first parade and the troubles they encountered.
On the 29th of July Mid Ulster Pride is working with Glasgowbury and The Cornstore Creative Hub in Draperstown to present Come As You Are, an inclusive social gathering in a safe and welcoming space, where people can express themselves freely and learn about being LGBTQ+ in a rural setting.
The final event before the Pride Parade is an information evening and clothing donation drive for Show Some Love. Show Some Love is a community organisation in Belfast that, among other things, provide support to queer, trans, and gender non-conforming youth, as well as people experiencing homlessness and displacement. The event is on the 10th of August and people are encouraged to bring donations of clothes and toiletries to help those in need.
The main event of the Programme is the Mid Ulster Pride Parade on the 13th of August in Cookstown. This is the 3rd Parade run by Mid Ulster Pride and is without a doubt the biggest so far. Representatives from charities, social organisations, and political parties from Mid Ulster and beyond will be joining the Mid Ulster Pride Committee in walking through the streets of Cookstown spreading Mid Ulster Pride's message of Belonging, Love, and Celebration. The Parade sets off at 1pm from the Cookstown Community Centre on the Fairhill Road, and members of the public are welcome to join the parade. Afterwards everyone is welcome to enjoy a programme of entertainment at the Cookstown Community Centre, and browse the stalls, information, and food and drink on offer. The whole event is planned to last until 6pm that evening.