Pride Month is here, and we are thrilled to hear about all the fun and family-friendly LGBTQ+ events happening in the Northeast in the coming months. Pride events are joyful and empowering community celebrations filled with music, films, art, and activities that celebrate the diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Many of these events are perfect to enjoy together with the children and young people in your life, with fantastic quality, inexpensive activities, and performances for all ages! For young people who are figuring out who they are and where they fit into the world, these events can be particularly important, providing spaces where they can have fun, be themselves, and meet people who share their experiences.
We have highlighted below some upcoming events that we think would be brilliant for young people and families:
Curious Arts events- throughout the summer:
If you’re looking for some varied and creative Pride events this summer, Curious Arts has you covered. They are bringing Mini Pride for children and families across the Northeast. Folks will have the opportunity to enjoy a celebration of everything that’s unique and wonderful about families whilst taking part in fun, creative activities from colourful arts and crafts, flower power performances and interactive Storytime’s with Curious Artists.
"In our house we have our rainbow flags at the ready and are gearing up for a summer of Pride events across the region which kicked off with a gorgeous visit to Ouseburn Family Pride last weekend. As a proud queer parent to a queer child, Pride and Family Pride Events are really important to us (as well as being super fun). They are a way to spend time with our friends and other families like ours, learn about our beautiful differences, explore identities in a positive and supportive space, and also to add our voices to the vital and ongoing activism and protest that Pride was born from. Most importantly for me is that we not only acknowledge and accept ours and our kids' queerness, but that we are intentional about celebrating it too 🌈"
-Rachel Robson Producer (Earned Income) at Mortal Fools
Hexham Pride- Throughout June
Hexham Pride is a brand-new festival for 2023 that offers plenty of activities that are perfect for children and young people! Holly Clarke is curating a night of queer folk music featuring a plethora of local musicians taking inspiration from traditional music and showcasing heartfelt lyricism.
Modest at Northern Stage-Monday 12th June- Tuesday 13th June
Modest at Northern Stage is an exhilarating Punk inspired show with elements of Music hall, theatre and drag king cabaret. The performance is set in 1874 and follows artist extraordinaire Elizabeth Thomas as she narrowly misses out on being elected as the first woman to join the prestigious Royal Academy and finds she must fight to be accepted by the sexist Victorian artistic elites. This show is suitable for ages 14+.
Acycliffe Pride- Saturday 1st July
Acycliffe Pride features a line-up of exciting, campy drag and tribute acts including headliners the Spicey Girls and local legend Lou Lou Lipstick, all hosted by the hilarious MX Drag Queen England Winner 2022 Lavender Love who is returning for a second year. There will also be craft stalls, fairground rides and a zip wire to keep kids entertained all day.
Sunderland Pride- Saturday 8th July
Sunderland Pride promises to be a fun and lively musical event featuring big names and old favourites including the Cheeky Girls, Kelly Wilde and Kelly Llorenna. During the evening event under 16s must be accompanied by an adult however Sunderland Pride also has a young people's and family zone throughout the day with queer artists running activities.
Northern Pride- Saturday 22nd July to Sunday 23rd July
Northern Pride is a large and welcoming event where there really is something for everyone! If you are new to Pride the Community Village is a great place to start- you will find support and tips for people attending Pride for the first time and a Family and Youth Zone which will run arts, crafts, musical and sensory activities for all ages throughout the whole weekend.
You can see fantastic big-name acts on the main stage as well as local acts in the Bescene dance and cabaret zone representing the wonderful diversity of the queer community in the Northeast. You can also take part in the bold and colourful Pride Parade that passes through the heart of Newcastle and is always a joyful and affirming experience to be a part of.
This year the theme of Northern Pride is “Together always-united in diversity”, celebrating the broad range of queer experiences and standing in solidarity with those who face social ostracization and legal consequences for simply existing. It highlights the importance (for those who feel able) of making ourselves visible and showcase what a beautiful, creative, and kind bunch we are.
Stockton Pop Up Pride- Saturday 29th July
Programme to be announced!
Darlington Pride in the Park -Sunday 13th August
Pride in the Park will be a relaxed and welcoming event with acoustic music and a range of crafts and activities perfect for families.
"Pride is really important to me because you can find out about other people's identities. I've learned that I'm not alone and there are other people like me."
- Aphra, aged 10
Beyond Pride season it is vital that families and young people feel that they still have access to a community of people that can understand and support them. Therefore, we have collated a list of regular North East youth groups which you can find here.
We also recently caught up with Darren at Northumberland Pride to find out why Pride is important from their perspective…..
“Respecting diverse perspectives on Pride is important because the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people are different like any community of people. Everyone has their own unique connection and understanding of Pride, and it is perfectly fine if some do not feel a connection to it at all.
For Northumberland Pride, Pride holds significance as a way for young people to embrace self-acceptance and shape their identities through positive role models. It demonstrates that there is a vast community of LGBTQIA+ people who share similar experiences.
Pride serves as a platform for visibility, enabling conversations about historical and current issues that impact our community. Often, growing up in unsupportive environments deprives us of the validation and support that every person deserves. Pride offers an invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and find comfort in others who share similar experiences. This is particularly crucial for young people, as the absence of networks can lead to feelings of isolation and rejection.
Many young people face bullying and rejection from their loved ones due to their identities, but Pride celebrates and embraces our differences. Beyond a personal connection, Pride is a way to raise awareness. Pride events, whether they last a day, a week, or a month, provide opportunities for education on a range of topics, including history, LGBTQIA+ rights, and the challenges faced by our communities. Pride promotes inclusivity, allyship, and support and looks different across the country and the world.
As an LGBTQIA+ organisation based in a rural county, it is important for us, as well as others, to find ways to connect with local communities. This led us to take Pride on the Road in 2022, including queer talent, collaborating with other organisations to share information on mental health support, and creating localised content that represents LGBTQIA+ people in Northumberland (which will be released soon!).
While Northumberland Pride events are on hold for 2023, we will be actively engaging with LGBTQIA+ people in Northumberland later this year to understand their desires for a future LGBTQIA+ event(s) in the county.”
You can find out more about Northumberland Pride via their Facebook page.
If there are any events or LGBTQIA+ groups that we’ve missed that you think our Mortal Fools community would enjoy, drop them in the comments below and have a Wonderful Pride Month! #PrideMonth2023