Pride Cymru: 'A way to go' to achieve LGBTQ+ equality in Wales as event celebrates 25 years

There is still a "way to go" to achieving LGBTQ+ equality in Wales, according to one of the organisers of the country's largest Pride event.

Pride Cymru, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, gets under way this weekend at Cardiff Castle.

The event will feature performances from the Vengaboys and Heather Small, as well as Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters.

Lisa Cordery-Bruce is one of Pride Cymru's trustees.

She told Sky News that "a lot of positives have happened" since the event began but there was "still a way to go".

"Pride would really hope to see in the future, Wales looking like an LGBTQ+-friendly nation," Mrs Cordery-Bruce said.

"It would look like a reduction in hate crime, equal provision for healthcare, a better acceptance of trans and non-binary communities in Wales, a complete ban of conversion practices, continuing with the inclusive education in schools.

"On a really simplistic level, it would be for everyone to be able to just walk down the street holding hands with the person they love, regardless of who that person is, safely and without judgement."


The most recent census found that 77,000 people who usually live in Wales - or 3% of the Welsh population over the age of 16 - identify as LGBTQ+.

This is a smaller proportion than in England where it was 3.2% of the country's population.

The Welsh government has outlined its aim of making Wales Europe's most LGBTQ+ friendly nation.

A Welsh government spokesperson said its LGBTQ+ action plan shows its "ambition".

"We are committed to championing and supporting inclusivity - within our cultural life, in our communities and throughout our country," they added.

"Everyone has the right to lead lives free from discrimination. We want Wales to be a nation where everyone feels safe to be themselves."

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A Welsh Conservative Senedd spokesperson said the party was "delighted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pride Cymru".

"People deserve to love who they want without fear of discrimination," they added.

A spokesperson for Plaid Cymru said it believes "all people and communities in Wales should be equal".

"A crucial step would be to end so-called conversion therapy for sexuality and gender identity, alongside improved access and provision of gender identity services and support in Wales," they added.

A Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson said the party stood "hand in hand with LGBTQ+ people amid recent attempts by some sections of society to roll back on the hard-won freedoms".

"We will always champion a society where people are free to be who they are, free of prejudice and fear," they added.


Pride Cymru itself has "got a lot bigger" in recent years, Mrs Cordery-Bruce added.

"It is still, however, almost exclusively run by volunteers. Just members of the community, and allies, from across Wales, who give up so much time. They're such dedicated people," she said.

When it was first launched in 1999, it was called the Cardiff Mardi Gras.

But a quarter of a century later, there are still new additions to the event.

This year, for the first time, a vigil will be held to commemorate members of the LGBTQ+ community who have died over the years.

"We wanted to take this opportunity on the 25th anniversary to remember people who are no longer with us and to also take time to stop and to reflect on the last 25 years," she said.

"So the vigil is a quiet time, a reflection on where we've come from and a reflection on where we're yet to go."