The newly appointed leaders of the Pride London Festival are looking ahead to what they hope will be a busy year.
A new logo, more interactive events throughout the year, and unifying the LGBTQ2 community are just some of the goals the board of directors has set for 2021.
Stephen D’Amelio was named the new president of the organization’s board of directors in November, the first Black person to hold the position.
D’Amelio says the board has been busy finalizing details for the 2021 festival, which will once again have a focus on virtual and outdoor events.
“We have decided to go ahead with trying to ensure our format is virtual this year. We will have some physical events, but like we did this past year with our first-ever virtual Pride, we are looking to recreate that with a bigger and better performance and platform for everyone.”
The Pride London Festival is scheduled to start July 15 and run until July 25.
Amanda Pearson, the organization’s newly named vice-president, is the first transgender person to serve in the role.
She says a primary goal for the new leadership group is to help more members of the LGBTQ2 community feel welcome, something she says wasn’t the case when she attended her first Pride event seven years ago.
“My initial thought was that transgender people weren’t well represented in the community, and over seven years that has completely changed,” said Pearson.
“It has been a real benefit to the transgender community to have the support of the balance of the LGBTQ community, so I see the need for us to do that for other community members who may be underrepresented.”
Pearson says that is why they chose the theme for next year to be community, with an emphasis on unity.
“Over the last few years there has been some unhappiness in the LGBTQ community and there’s been some divisions that have occurred, and it’s our goal through communication and a series of fun events, is to bring the community back together and create a unity situation.”
The overall focus will be on much more than the 10-day event in July. D’Amelio says organizers are looking to provide more engaging events throughout the year as well.
“We have some plans to do things throughout the year, like Black History Month — it’s really important for us to raise some of those voices during February, so we’re really looking forward to engaging throughout the year, and of course during the 10-day festival as well.”
Pearson says they will also be looking to engage with people who may not identify as a member of the LGBTQ2 community, but want to offer their support as an ally.
“There will be times where we need allies to stand in front of us and interface with the community and speak on our behalf, there are times we will need allies to stand behind us and give us support, but mostly we need allies who walk side by side with us through our journey.”
The organization has plans to unveil a new logo for Pride London Festival, and they will be looking to members of the community to help create a design.
They are also hoping to launch the Pride London Network, an online streaming platform, some time in the new year as well.
Pride London Festival is a non-profit organization that runs the annual celebration of LGBTQ2 Londoners.
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