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Ilkley Pride celebrates diversity

The third Ilkley Pride was held at the King's Hall and Winter Garden on Saturday 29th June.

Ilkley Pride was born out of a desire to create a safe and welcoming event for the LGBTQ+ community in the town and surrounding areas. The first-ever Ilkley Pride took place in 2022, organised by a group of passionate volunteers who wanted to promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights and issues. The event aimed to bring together people from all walks of life to stand in solidarity and show support for the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.


Since its inception, the event has grown in both size and significance, attracting a diverse audience, including LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, families, and friends. Ilkley Pride has evolved into a platform for advocacy, education, and celebration of LGBTQ+ rights, creating an environment where people can be their true selves without fear or prejudice. This year’s event was no different and attracted large crowds throughout the afternoon and evening.

Bosom Buddies

This local celebration of inclusivity and diversity was further amplified through various artistic performances and entertainment. Local performers, both established and emerging, took to the Winter Garden as part of the evenings ‘Pride Unplugged’ line-up, to showcase their talent while adding vibrancy and energy to the festivities. Meanwhile in the King’s Hall the entertainment was nonstop from the outset with performances from Bosom Buddies, Joze School of Dance, Queenergy, Miss Syren, Lady Za Za and many others.


Ilkley Pride goes beyond being a mere celebration; it is also an opportunity for education and awareness. The event featured an array of engaging activities such as workshops, pride-themed crafts, and a number of other stalls run by a mixture of both local and national organisations. These activities help foster understanding and bridge the gap between different communities and beliefs.


Looking beyond Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group’s main Ilkley Pride event the group have also been instrumental in fostering dialogue and understanding between individuals with different outlooks and beliefs within the town. Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group encourage a broader conversation about acceptance and inclusion, urging everyone to reflect on their own attitudes and biases and strive for a more tolerant and compassionate society. With support from Bradford Youth Service, Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group have started Ilkley’s first LGBTQ+ youth support group and since it’s inception the group has become immensely popular. Plan’s are also being made for a regular local wellbeing hub as well as an educational signposting project to help local members of the LGBTQ+ community access the support services relevant to their individual needs.

Ilkley Pride Volunteers

Following a campaign of hate surrounding last year’s Pride event the Ilkley Pride & Diversity team were invited to a meeting with West Yorkshire Police, chaired by Inspector Katie Madden. It was agreed the two organisations would work closely moving forward to help tackle hate crime across the region, improve reporting methods and help the force improve it’s relationship with the community. As part of this project we were joined at Ilkley Pride  by members of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership who provided insightful information on the prevention of hate crimes through early intervention, prevention and education.


By celebrating Ilkley Pride and supporting Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group, the town and its residents have come together to proclaim that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to live free from discrimination and prejudice. Ilkley’s annual pride celebration stands as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to follow suit and promote inclusivity and equality in their communities.

As Ilkley Pride continues to grow and thrive, it reminds us that love is a universal language, capable of breaking down barriers and building bridges of understanding. By embracing diversity and nurturing empathy, we pave the way for a brighter, more compassionate future for all.


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