As a charity, our remit is to work for the promotion of the elimination of discrimination.
Whether this be on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion and ability. We work towards this through our annual celebration of equality and diversity at Pride Cymru. (Historically known as Cardiff-Wales LGBT Mardi Gras)
Cardiff-Wales LGBT Mardi Gras, trading as Pride Cymru is wholly operated and organised by a group of individuals that makes up the Board of Trustees, governed by Chair Lu Thomas, the Event Management Committee and a large number of other volunteers from organisations supporting our annual major events.
We also seek to work within all areas of the LGBT+ community in Wales and by co-production, engagement and partnering with other organisations we have a programme of projects aimed at supporting specifically the LGBT+ community, but also aimed at developing links with the wider community. Our intention is to increase understanding and respect for all which will lead to a reduction in hate crime.
International rugby referee, Nigel Owens has been a Patron for Pride Cymru for a number of years. Nigel has campaigned to stamp out sexual discrimination in sport since coming out as gay in 2007.
“Pride Cymru really unites all types of communities together. No matter who you are. It’s a brilliant day out for all and I’m extremely proud to be part of it by showing my continuing support.”
Welsh singer and actor, Ian H Watkins was born and raised in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. In a personal account filmed for BBC Wales’ Week In Week Out, Ian described growing up gay in the Rhondda ‘a nightmare’, and came out while entering Celebrity Big Brother in 2007.
“This event is very close to heart and I am thrilled to be asked to be a patron. Pride Cymru does amazing work tackling homophobia and hate crime.”
Lu Corfield is a Welsh TV and Film Actress best known for playing Freya Wilson in the BBC1 Soap Opera ‘Doctors.’ In an interview with Digital Spy in 2012, Lu announced that she was bisexual and proud of her sexuality. She works proactively with young people in workshops designed to stamp out abuse and encourage acceptance.
““Having grown up in Wales and as a keen advocate for LGBT rights, this is an event that literally hits close to home. I am incredibly proud to support an organisation that strives tirelessly to secure a future where there is genuine equality for all.”
Our Journey (so far)
The first ever Cardiff Mardi Gras event took place on September 4th 1999, with over 5,000 people who had gathered by the end of Saturday night to Bute Park for the city festival.
The event coincided with a conference on hate crime, which urged the LGBT community to report crime to the police. Since then, combatting hate crime has become a staple purpose for Pride Cymru’s existence.
Over the years, the event has gained a huge amount of support and recognition from the community, partners, attendees near and from afar, and by all of those those who take part.
The number of visitors to the event annually has grown significantly peaking at around 20,000. While it’s become one of the biggest pride events in the UK over the years, it’s taken creative initiatives to tackle wider issues in the LGBT community.
– 5 Facts About Pride Cymru
- In 2003, Amnesty International used the event to draw attention to the many countries around the world that forbids same sex relationships.
- In 2006, Cardiff Mardi Gras hosted the world’s first gay motor show, called ‘TopGayer’ which revealed a secret shopper survey on the treatment of LGBT customers by over 150 UK car dealers.
- Cardiff Mardi Gras grew even bigger in 2012, when it held its first parade through Cardiff city centre, expanding the carnival entertainment from Coopers Field onto the high street.
- The festival that used to cost £50,000 back in 2002 has tripled over the years costing near £200,000 to organise. To cut venue hire costs and make the event possible in 2013, under a community initiative the event had to take place in the Millennium Stadium. A considerable amount of funds needs to be raised throughout the year.
- Pride Cymru became the first Pride event in the UK to be accredited with a Silver Award by ‘Attitude is Everything’ as a result of the work we carried out in 2015 in terms of improving accessibility for deaf and disabled attendee’s.