Hampshire Pride first came to life in Autumn of 2014 when a small group of wonderful people decided that it was time Hampshire stood up and showed it’s solidarity with LGBT+ people.
The original team was made up of students and staff from the University of Winchester along with members of the Hampshire County council team. They spent months busying away; planning, organising and spreading the word about this brand new celebration of love and acceptance and then, Hampshire Pride was born!
It was decided that the event should be held in the central point of Hampshire, and England’s ancient capital, Winchester. Then all that remained was to decide when Hampshire Pride should be held. A lot of people ask us why we chose February when the other pride celebrations take place in the summer. Well, the answer is an easy one; February is LGBT History Month in the UK – what better month to celebrate our heritage, remember how far we’ve come in such a short time and look to the brighter times of the future. It also served as somewhat of a winter warmer in the dreary month of February; ‘…Diamonds in the snow, sparkle!’
It may have taken a lot of planning and hard graft to get off the ground, but boy, was it worth it! Hundreds of people joined the parade from the University of Winchester’s campus, through the City Centre and up the high street, finishing at the Winchester Discovery Centre. Inside the centre, there were speakers and performers, as well as community stalls and a general feeling of excitement and love. (Not to mention freebies!)
Now in its third year, Hampshire Pride is going from strength the strength with new venues, new faces and more fun to be had. And whilst the committee has grown to include some new faces, one thing remains the same…love is love!