Thomas Wales

Impact Survey 2016

Leeds LGBT has a huge positive impact on the City of Leeds. It's thanks to you, your survey answers and the figures gathered from the use of the official #LeedsPride hashtag that we've managed to get some heartwarming information on just how much Leeds LGBT Pride 2016 has benefited our city.

It is after all your city, your pride!

Click below to see the Leeds LGBT 2016 Impact Survey...

Leeds Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* Pride Chair Steps Down

Founder and Chair of Leeds LGB&T Pride, Tom Doyle has announced he is stepping down

Since it burst onto the Leeds scene 10 years ago Leeds LGB&T* Pride has become a key event in the city’s calendar.  The event has grown impressively from its beginnings in 2006, when a few hundred people attended to this year that saw over 40,000 people take to the streets of Leeds celebrating the LGB&T* community and calling for equality.

Tom said, ‘It’s been a massive pleasure and a great honour to be the chair of Leeds LGB&T* Pride over the past 10 years. All those years ago we set ourselves the objective of delivering a high quality, visible, city centre event that the Leeds LGB&T* community and the whole city of Leeds can be proud of – mission accomplished.’

‘I’m proud to say that I’m leaving Leeds LGB&T*Pride in great shape, this year was by common consent, the best ever Leeds LGB&T*Pride, the finances are in good shape, and the Pride Directors are a talented, dedicated and enthusiastic team. Taken together I know that this is a fantastic foundation for the future development of Leeds LGB&T* Pride.’

Alexandra McEwan-Hannant, Leeds LGB&T*Pride Director said, ‘All of us who are part of the Leeds LGB&T* Pride team want to thank Tom for his decade of service and commitment to Leeds LGB&T* Pride. The success of Pride is due in no small part to Tom’s leadership, which has been inspirational and created a real legacy for Leeds LGB&T* Pride to move forward. The Leeds LGB&T* community and the city owe him a great debt of gratitude, not just for his work on Pride but also on wider LGB&T* health and equality issues’.

Tom will be remaining in his post as Chief Executive of Yorkshire MESMAC, the county’s largest LGB&T* charity where he has been for 26 years. ‘Though I’m stepping down from Leeds LGB&T* Pride I will still be working and campaigning hard for LGB&T* communities across Yorkshire. I am really looking forward to Leeds LGB&T* Pride 2017, which I know is going to be great success and for the first time I will be able to experience as a Pride attender’

Tips for a Safer Pride


"People should be assured that Pride is safer than ever, so please turn up and show your support. The terror attack at Pulse in Orlando has had an effect on the LGBT community around the world and their feeling of safety, but there is nothing to suggest that the threat is any higher than it was before this attack and the ideology that fuels such atrocities hates the idea of diverse society – so turn up and show them we are here and we are proud of who we are. 

The biggest risk at Leeds Pride is that people have a bit too much to drink a bit too quickly so please pace yourself – it is a very long day and if it is warm you will get drunk quicker. Also – as inviting as the river looks, it is a very dangerous place so please do not go for a dip to cool off!

We will have a large presence at Pride this year but that is not in relation to a threat to the event. Over the last couple of years officers have enjoyed it that much that they are volunteering to come work at the event to talk to people about hate crime reporting and our amazing career opportunities as well as have a bit of a laugh in photos with the public, and make sure everyone gets to enjoy Pride in a safe environment. 

You might see a few armed officers there (who are fully prepared for innuendo’s about the size of their weapons) but these officers are normally patrolling crowded places when they get the chance so don’t be concerned if you see them - go say hello"

 Inspector Ben Ryder – Chair West Yorkshire Police LGBT Network

Council takes Pride in LGBT celebrations

Millennium Square and Leeds City Council will be joining in the celebrations for this weekend’s spectacular 10th anniversary of Leeds Pride.

The square will host the parade stage for this year’s event on Sunday, August 7, with keynote speakers and entertainment on stage from 12 noon before the huge Leeds Pride parade gets underway at 2pm.

Performers will include Soft Cell front man Marc Almond, and singer Craig Roe, with speakers including Tom Doyle, chief executive of Yorkshire Mesmac and Chair Leeds LGBT Pride.

And Leeds City Council’s LGBT Staff Network will be hosting a special market from 11am until 1pm at Leeds City Museum, with stalls from different council departments offering free help, information and advice to those attending Pride.

Departments hosting stalls at the event will include HR, children’s services, adult social care and city development with information available on a hugely diverse range of issues including fostering and adoption, marriage and civil partnerships and the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture.

Those attending will also have the chance to get more information about the development of the city’s South Bank, which is close to the city’s gay quarter.

Following the marketplace event, the council will also be taking part in the parade, complete with open topped double decker bus and accessible mini-bus.

Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It’s great to see that the city will once again be hosting such a vibrant celebration and that the council will be doing more than ever to highlight our work and services at the event.

“Pride is all about celebrating both the things that make us different and the things that unite us, and reinforcing the message that Leeds is a place where we’re happy to say we have both diversity and community spirit in huge abundance.

“We are working hard to make Leeds an LGBT Friendly City and Leeds City Council an LGBT Inclusive Employer, so weekend’s event is a great opportunity for people working across the council to engage with members of the LGBT community and for those attending Pride to find out more about some of the council services that are available to them.”

Leeds has hosted an annual Pride event since 2006, with the event regularly attracting in excess of 30,000 people to the city centre.

Leeds Pride rainbow balloons release in memory of Orlando victims

RAINBOW BALLOONS will be released in memory of the Orlando shooting victims when Sainsbury’s staff take part in Leeds Pride this weekend.

Last year 180 company staff joined the parade, making them the biggest group to take part. 

And this year Headingley store manager Jemma Kameen will lead more than 400 colleagues who have pledged their support for the celebrations.

Jemma, who has been nominated for a number of awards for her work with Leeds Pride, jointly leads diversity scheme Proud@Sainsbury’s.

“I am honoured to be co-ordinating Sainsbury’s involvement with Leeds Pride for a second year,” she said. 

“We are going to be releasing 49 bouquets of biodegradable rainbow balloons in memory of the 49 victims of the Orlando shootings. It is humbling to see so many colleagues come together to support this event with such enthusiasm.”

Sainsbury’s will also sponsor the Parade stage in Millennium Square for the second year. 

The Voice star Tom Rickels, who works at one of the supermarket chain’s Bristol branches, will be among those performing at the event.

Regional manager Alan Ormrod said: “The event encompasses many of Sainsbury’s values as we hold diversity and inclusion with high importance. I look forward painting Leeds orange once again.”

It time for Rainbows over the city centre

Leeds Lesbian , Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGB&T*) Pride is 10 this year and to celebrate there will be events taking place across the city over the Leeds Pride weekend, Friday 5th August until Monday 8th August.

first direct are over the rainbow to be official partner at this year’s Leeds LGB&T* Pride 10th anniversary with a whole host of other sponsors supporting the celebrations including Sainsbury’s, Trinity and ASDA.

Over the Leeds LGB&T* Pride weekend there will be a whole host of events celebrating love, equality, sexuality and gender identity including community fringe events such as Leeds Queer Film Festival’s free screening of ‘Set It Off’  and club nights including the return of the infamous Speed Queen courtyard party.

There will be a vigil at the newly created Sovereign Place from 5pm on Saturday 6th August to remember those lives loved and lost in our community since Leeds LGBT Pride begun in 2006.

On Sunday 7th August the main Leeds LGB&T* Pride celebration day, the party kicks off at 12pm in Millennium Square with the Sainsbury’s Parade stage. There will be 2 hours of entertainment headlined by Marc Almond (Soft Cell front man).

At 2pm the hugely popular Leeds LGB&T* parade will then weave its way through the city centre, everyone is invited to join the thousands of people and over 50 float taking to the city’s streets flying rainbow flags with pride.

Entertainment then starts at 3pm on the Trinity sponsored Main Stage situated on Lower Briggate. A whole host of talent including local band Victors, UK Eurovision duo Joe and Jake,  Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding, will entertain the crowds for the next 5 hours. X factor winner and West End Star Alexandra Burke will be headlining what promises to be the most successful Pride to date.

Around Lower Briggate there will also be a market place, funfair rides, dedicated women’s space, BME space, Family and Children’s area and a Chill out Zone run by Time to Shine project. 

Chair of Leeds LGB&T* Pride Tom Doyle

‘We are delighted to welcome first direct as an official partner as Leeds LGB&T* Pride celebrates its 10th anniversary. This is a very important year for us and I and the committee want to thank all our volunteers and supporters. We couldn’t do it without you.   

This year the world and the global LGB&T* community were shocked and saddened by the murder of 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This was a hate crime designed to tear out the heart of the LGB&T* community. In these painful times we could choose to run and hide in fear, but Leeds LGBT* Pride, choose to come together, take to the streets with our families friends and allies and celebrate the rich diverse and dynamic LGB&T* community of Leeds’

The Leeds LGBT Scene comes alive with colour in preparation for Pride's Tenth Birthday

Fabulous LGBT Pride themed murals are popping up once again on the windows of venues and business' in the Leeds LGBT Scene on Lower Briggate.

You may remember that in the past the Leeds LGBT Scene has come alive with colourful window paintings both back in 2012 as Leeds LGBT Pride celebrated the London Olympics and again in 2014 in Solidarity with the Russian LGBT community who were being persecuted by new Russian laws.  

PoshFruits is the brains and artistic talent behind all these murals and is in charge of making sure these new paintings reflect the celebration of Leeds LGBT Pride Tenth Anniversary which will take place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August in the city. 

Thomas Wales who is working with the Leeds LGBT Pride team this year commented: "It's fitting that in the tenth year of Pride in Leeds City Centre that our venues on the Leeds LGBT Scene are coming alive with colour from the very talented PoshFruits. It's important that people are aware that even though equality rights are much better then ten years ago, people are still persecuted simply because of who they love and because of their gender identity. These windows are a statement and a celebration of love to and from the Leeds LGBT Community in the landmark year." 

Why not visit the Leeds LGBT Scene for yourselves and see the window displays.
Leeds LGBT Pride is a FREE admission City Centre with the main event taking place on Sunday 7th August 2016 and fringe events taking place across the city during and in the build up to the Pride weekend. 

Lloyds Banking Group supports Leeds Pride

Lloyds Banking Group is proudly demonstrating its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) colleagues and customers by joining in with Leeds Pride celebrations on 7th August.

Over 70 colleagues from Lloyds Banking Group are expected to attend Leeds Pride and will be marching under Lloyds Bank and Halifax banners alongside their friends and families.

During Pride, Lloyds Bank and Halifax ATMs across Leeds will be dressed in rainbow colours and rebranded as ‘GAYTMs’. Local bank branches will also decked out with rainbow themed window decorations.

Throughout the 2016 Pride season, the Group has already taken part in Pride events in London and Edinburgh, and will also join events in Belfast, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester.

Lloyds Banking Group has long been committed to supporting the LGBT community. The Group has an active Rainbow Network made up of 4500 colleagues, one of the largest networks of its kind in the UK, and has made public commitments to increasing the engagement scores of LGBT colleagues to 70% by 2020, as part of their Helping Britain Prosper Plan. The Group Lloyds Banking Group was ranked at number 2 in Stonewall’s most recent list of Top 100 Employers and its Rainbow Network was named Best Network at the 2016 British LGBT Awards.

Earlier this year, Lloyds Bank unveiled a brand new marketing campaign highlighting how the Group was there for its customers during major life changes. The advert featured a same-sex marriage proposal and was broadcast in high-profile television spots.

Karin Cook, Group Director of Operations and Group Executive Sponsor for Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity at Lloyds Banking Group said: “Pride festivals across the UK are a brilliant way of promoting a positive culture of inclusion for all and celebrating our LGBT colleagues, communities and customers up and down the country.

“I am personally committed to helping our LGBT colleagues be more comfortable and confident in bringing their whole selves to work, and want to ensure that Lloyds Banking Group is seen as an employer of choice for the LGBT community.

“As a Group, we are passionate about reflecting the diversity of all our colleagues and customers, and want all areas of the bank to be both inclusive and welcoming. Supporting the LGBT community is an important part of this commitment and is a vital pillar of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan.”


Natalie Wilson, PrideStar Winner

Earlier this year, Leeds Pride and Radio Aire team up to offer a PrideStar a place on the Tenth Anniversary Pride stage. 

Natalie Wilson who is 24 and from Leeds was crowned the winner of the Pridestar competition and raised over £700 for Radio Aire’s Cash for Kids and Macmillan Cancer Support in West Yorkshire.

She has been a professional singer for 9 years now singing in clubs and holidays camps across the country. The highlight of her career was winning two awards. Her first award was for Best female vocalist across the Wakefield and the surrounding area.

Her main award was wining best female vocalist for 2015. She is an outgoing bubbly character and always up for a challenge. She has a great voice and is the perfect addition to Leeds Pride.

We can't wait to see her perform on the Leeds Pride Main stage on Sunday 7th August. 

first direct partners Leeds Pride 2016

first direct is incredibly excited to sponsor the tenth annual Leeds LGBT Pride celebration

first direct will be the main sponsor at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration and join in this amazing celebration in its home city of Leeds and beyond.

Tracy Garrad, CEO of first direct commented: “At first direct we believe doing your own thing is a good thing. That’s why we pioneered a different kind of banking in 1989 and why we’ve kept on doing our own thing ever since. The same goes for people – including our customers and colleagues – we love creative people, musical people, loud and proud people, basically people people. It helps make us who we are. And it's why we’re very proud to partner Leeds Pride.”

Supporting our own LGBT colleagues is hugely important to first direct. Its own Pride Network is well established and does a great deal to promote a truly inclusive environment. 

As part of the HSBC Group, the first direct Pride Network supports HSBC's involvement in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and also supports other employee networks globally. There’s over 63,000 HSBC employees in the world who live and work in countries where it’s still illegal to be LGB or T, and we take part in events across the world to celebrate LGBT culture and pride, and help to highlight the issues LGBT people still face.

Ali Liaqat from Leeds Pride, said: “first direct launched in Leeds and the city is its home. As one of the largest and best known employers in Leeds we’re really happy to count on their support.”

Hallelujah because we can finally announce the Headline Act for the Main Stage

Hallelujah because we can finally announce the Headline Act for this year's Leeds LGBT Pride and we reckon all you bad boys will be happy...

The 'Pride' team are proud to announce that this year's Trinity Main Stage Act will be non other then singer and actress Alexandra Burke.

Alexandra rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor (UK) back in 2008 and currently stands as one of the most successful winners of the show selling well over 4 million records in the UK alone.

Since X Factor Alexandra has had a string of hit singles and has even gone on to star in West End Musicals such as 'Bodyguard' and 'Sister Act'.

Leeds LGBT Pride are delighted to be able to bring Alexandra Burke to the Lower Briggate located Trinity Main Stage on Sunday 7th August at the FREE admission city centre event in order to help celebrate ten years of LGBT Pride in Leeds.


He's the Voice.... Tom Rickels to perform on Sainsbury's Parade Stage 2016

Tom Rickels (sponsored by Sainsbury's) will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce that Tom will be performing on the Sainsbury's Parade Stage on Millennium Square as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

Tom is a Bristol-based fishmonger from Sainsbury's turned singer who appeared on this year’s series of The Voice UK !He managed to impress three of the four coaches at the blind auditions with his mash-up of Ellie Goulding's 'Love Me Like You Do' and Jason Derulo's 'Want To Want Me'. He has swapped his mackerel for microphones and is hoping that his passion and drive for music can take him all the way. His musical inspirations vary from Sam Smith to James Bay and he would describe himself as a nice mix between the two. “When I’m on stage, I feel home”.


Announcing UK Eurovision's Joe & Jake

JOE &  JAKE (Eurovision).jpg

Leeds LGBT Pride's Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August are proud to bring a little Eurovision sparkle to this year's Trinity sponsored Main Stage on Lower Briggate...

Joe & Jake the UK's 2016 entry for Eurovision will be performing live at the tenth LGBT Pride in Leeds. 

The cheeky musical duo represented the UK at the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm after winning the National final. 

Leeds LGBT Pride's massive landmark birthday celebration are proud to announce the addition of Joe & Jake to their Lineup.

Joe & Jake are following on the footsteps of other top musical artists that have performed at Leeds LGBT Pride including Sophie Ellis Bextor, Gareth Gates, The Weather Girls Martha Wash and Eurovision's Katrina (of the Waves).


JBX (Justin Bieber Xperience) aka Davey Stuart to perform on the Parade Stage 2016

Davey Stuart the JBX (Justin Bieber Xperience) will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce that Davey will be performing on the Sainsbury's Parade Stage on Millennium Square as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

Davey Stuart has worked internationally as the UK's Number One Olly Murs Tribute and now he's putting his great vocal talent towards recreating another one of the globe's top male artists Justin Bieber. 

Davey has worked up and down the UK and even at the Viaduct Showbar in gayleeds, aside from his tribute show's Davey also sings as himself and performs his own material.


Leeds Queenbee to perform at Leeds Pride 2016

Brooke Spears will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce that the ex Starlet will be performing on the Sainsbury's Parade Stage on Millennium Square as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

Brooke is a gayleeds favourite, she was part of the Viaduct Starlets before moving on to work at Queens Court. Brooke won the first Queen Bee Leeds: Best Drag Competition and is the current Queen Bee of the Leeds LGBT Scene.


Craig Roe to perform at 2016 Leeds Pride

Craig Roe will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce that the ex KAOS singer will be performing on the Sainsbury's Parade Stage at Millennium Square as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

After deciding to leave the three piece boy band KAOS Craig went on to write his own material and perform up and down the country as a solo artist at events such as Pride.


Everybody's Free! Rozalla will be making Leeds Pride feel good!

Rozalla will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce that the Zambian dance music performer will be performing on the Trinity Main Stage on Lower Briggate as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

Rozalla has toured with Micheal Jackson and Billy Ocean but is probably best known for her 1991 hit Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)


Announcing Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding will be performing at Leeds LGBT Pride’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday 7th August. The ‘Pride’ team are proud to announce the ex Girls Aloud singer will be performing on the Trinity Main Stage on Lower Briggate as Leeds LGBT Pride turns ten years old.

Sarah Harding rose to fame in late 2002 when she auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals on ITV. The programme announced that Harding had won a place as a member of the girl group Girls Aloud. Girls Aloud split up in 2013, since then Sarah Harding has been carving out a solo career as a singer, model and actress.

*Leeds LGBT Pride is a free nationally renowned cultural entertainment city centre event that celebrates diversity, equality, sexuality and gender identity in the city of Leeds and beyond