UK

Organiser praises ‘amazing friendship’ as Liverpool hosts Kyiv Pride

A person ahead of the Pride in Liverpool parade. (Peter Byrne/PA)
A person ahead of the Pride in Liverpool parade. (Peter Byrne/PA) A person ahead of the Pride in Liverpool parade. (Peter Byrne/PA)

Thousands took to the streets of Liverpool as the city hosted Pride on behalf of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as a KyivPride organiser praised the “amazing friendship” between the cities.

Hundreds of LGBT+ Ukrainians and their allies were expected to take part in the event.

The joint march continues a relationship built when Liverpool hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the war-torn nation earlier this year.

Edward Reese, a spokesperson from KyivPride, travelled from Ukraine’s capital to Liverpool to take part in the city’s Pride events, along with other members of the Ukrainian LGBT+ organisation.

He told the PA news agency: “We are marching together for Ukraine, for freedom, to remind the world and the UK that the war is not over.

Mr Reese said the relationship between Liverpool and Ukraine is “an amazing friendship”, adding that “Liverpool is a very welcoming and friendly and warm city so we are happy that we are here”.

Pride in Liverpool parade 2023
Pride in Liverpool parade 2023 A person ahead of the Pride in Liverpool parade. (Peter Byrne/PA)

He said: “LGBTQ people right now suffer from a lack of rights all over the world.

“The conservative Christian agenda and anti-gender movement are very powerful here in the UK, in the US and Europe and everywhere, so it’s very important to stand together because this war for our rights is not over.”

Andi Herring, chief executive and co-founder of Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation, said it was important that people in Liverpool show solidarity with members of the LGBT+ community in Ukraine and around the world.

She said: “LGBT+ people are a global community, and that’s why it is crucial that we ‘Shout It Loud’ in solidarity with all LGBT+ people across the world.

“We are honoured to be hosting KyivPride this year and standing alongside the work they do in Ukraine for our community.

“Of course, it would be hard to forget our reasons behind hosting Eurovision and the lasting bond with Ukraine that will remain with us.”

Pride In Liverpool organisers said they have listened to community feedback and focused this year’s Pride on community performances, family-friendly spaces and a diverse range of “fringe events” around the city.

Pride events occurring throughout the city on Saturday include street parties, a garden party at Liverpool Parish Church, and a pop-up LGBT+ safe space which was initially launched during the city’s Eurovision celebrations.