'The world feels a bit warmer now' how one LGBT supporter reacted as the Pride flag went up at Ely Cathedral
PUBLISHED: 18:11 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:27 10 August 2018
Members of Ely's LGBT community have expressed their jubilation at seeing the Pride flag raised above Ely Cathedral for the first time today
This afternoon the rainbow flag was raised from the West Tower in a strong show of support for the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, ahead of the Pride festival tomorrow.
Ben Whale said it felt “amazing” to witness the flag flying above the cathedral.
“I never imagined as a kid or teenager growing up here that we would be at this point. “The world feels a bit warmer now.”
Ariane Richardt, of Ely, added: “I think we have achieved something that I never thought we would achieve.
“It’s absolutely wonderful to have that support from Ely Cathedral and have such a display of inclusivity for Ely.”
Ely Cathedral normally only flies church and national flags but has made a special exception to show support for “inclusivity in the community,” Canon Stephen Bourne said.
“This is more than unusual. This is unique for us. It doesn’t matter where you come from and what your background is. Understand that the world has changed over the last 40 years.”
The cathedral had received over 600 messages of support regarding its unprecedented decision to fly the Pride flag, and only 29 complaints.
Canon Bourne said: “We are proud to be doing this and recognising [LGBT+] people in this community, who are also a part of the community in Ely.”
Flag owner Simon Green, of Peterborough, said it was a “day to remember”.
Organisers of Ely’s Pride festival have been fundraising since December 2016.
The free festival will take place tomorrow (Saturday, August 11) from 10am to 5pm at Jubilee Gardens, featuring a host of free family entertainment.
Although the event is primarily a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender celebration, its organisers hope everyone will join in the fun.
A free day of Pride events kicks off at 10am to 5pm with a full programme at Jubilee Gardens.
Pride switches to the Riverside Bar & Kitchen in the evening for a 7pm to 2am ‘after party’.