It's the run up to Herts Pride, Hertfordshire's biggest LGBTQ+ celebration, and we're playing our part in Hertsmere by celebrating and sending our own message of support.
A Pride Progress flag was raised outside our Civic Offices in Borehamwood today by Councillor Meenal Sachdev, our Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health. Also in attendance were Cllr Rebecca Challice representing the Labour group, Executive Director Peter Geraghty and Sergeant Noel Buckley and colleagues from Hertsmere's Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Pride Progress is an updated version of the rainbow Pride flag, which better represents diverse communities. Pride flags are also being raised in Aberford Park in Borehamwood, Parkfields and Oakmere Park in Potters Bar and King George Recreation Ground in Bushey.
Herts Pride will take place at Cassiobury Park, Watford on Saturday (14 August) and includes stalls, a funfair, live entertainment and the Herts Pride Dog Show.
Last year, due to Covid-19, the event was held virtually. A short video produced by the late Mayor of Hertsmere, Cllr Cynthia Barker helped to raise awareness of the day.
This year, as well as raising flags across the borough, the council has offered rainbow laces to local sports teams and will be hosting staff activities.
Cllr Sachdev said: “The Pride Progress flags will be flying outside our Civic Offices and in parks across the borough all the rest of this week in celebration of the borough's LGBTQ+ communities.
“Herts Pride is about celebrating diversity and inclusion and taking pride in who we are as a community.
“Here in Hertsmere, we live in a wonderfully diverse and vibrant part of the county, where the rights of all people to live their lives are respected and enjoyed.
“It’s distressing to think then that too many people within the UK and throughout the world experience violence, harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“I'm so delighted that this year Herts Pride, Hertfordshire’s biggest LGBTQ+ celebration will be able to go ahead and I hope as many people as possible can enjoy it safely and respectfully.
"If you're not able to make it to Watford on Saturday, there is the Picnic in the Park event at Oakmere Park, where a Pride flag will be flying. It is being organised by Parks Events Herts and the Wyllyotts Theatre."
Sergeant Noel Buckley, from the Hertsmere Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “It was a pleasure to attend today’s event and give our support to the local LGBTQ+ community. We are committed to making sure that Hertsmere and the wider county is safe for all our diverse communities and we work hard with our local partners to achieve this.
“We have dedicated LGBTQ+ Liaison Officers who are specially trained to help the LGBTQ+ community. If you want to speak to one for non-urgent advice, just call 101 or contact us online at www.herts.police.uk/contact
and ask to leave a message for them to contact you. In an emergency or if a crime is on-going, always report it immediately via 999. The support of an LGBTQ+ Officer can then be requested if required.
“Please never hesitate to get in touch if you are the victim of an LGBTQ+ hate crime. We are here to support you and you will always be taken seriously and treated with the respect you deserve.”
For more information about the Herts Pride event and how it aims to support LGBTQ+ individuals and communities, visit www.hertspride.org
Posted on Wednesday 11th August 2021