LGBTQ+

THOUSANDS of people spread rainbow colours across Woking on Saturday for the first Pride in Surrey festival.

All Glammed Up – a trio of parade goers sporting gloriously colourful Pride garb and makeup

Members of the LGBTQ+ communities invited friends, relatives and supporters to join a celebration which it is hoped will trigger continuing and increasing understanding of all aspects of their cultures.

The event opened at 11am with the Pride Parade from the HG Wells Centre in Church Street East, through Jubilee Square and Wolsey Place shopping centre and on to Commercial Way.

Senior police offices and politicians, including Surrey Chief Constable Gavin Stephens and Woking borough councillor Graham Cundy were among those taking part. Cllr Cundy led the parade, along with drag artist Queen Alexandra, head of The Party Royal.

Constable Ryan Williams and Superintendent Clive Davies stand suitably decorated next to an equally glamorous, electric patrol car.

The police displayed a Jaguar I-Pace demonstration electric patrol car specially “wrapped” in a rainbow design for the day by a vehicle livery company.

Festivities moved on to Woking Park, where all the tickets for entertainment and attractions lasting until 10pm had quickly been reserved.

“I’d like to thank every volunteer for their time,” said organiser Stephen Ireland. “Our motto was to make people’s Pride magical, and we certainly did that during our family friendly day of Pride.”

See the special picture feature in the 15 August edition of the News & Mail

COINCIDING with the first Pride in Surrey event, Surrey Music has announced the launch of Surrey Rainbow Choir, the first LGBTQ+ choir in Surrey.

The well-established community music society, which champions local causes and has raised in excess of £200,000 for charitable purposes since its formation in 2005, is no stranger to forming successful choirs – it already comprises the 130-strong mixed voice Elmbridge Choir, and the 90-voice Elmbridge Ladies Choir.

Clilff van Tonder, founder of Surrey Music

“Anyone over 16 who identifies as LGBTQ+ and who has a passion for singing, whether it’s a yearning to unleash their inner diva or simply a desire to find a safe space to express themselves and use their voice, this is the choir for them,” said Cliff van Tonder, founder and CEO of Surrey Music.

As well as singing members, Surrey Music is looking for an energetic and enthusiastic choir leader or musical director to be part of establishing and building the choir.

Anyone interested in joining this brand new, friendly, non-audition and non-judgemental choir, either as a singer or a leader, can register their interest by visiting www.rainbowchoir.com or visit the Surrey Rainbow Choir stall at Pride in Surrey in Woking Park on Saturday 10 August to find out more.

For the full story get the 8 August edition of the News & Mail