Barnet Council has made an exciting announcement today, revealing that the borough’s very first LGBTQ+ celebration, Pride in the Park, will take place in August.
The event, organised by a partnership led by Barnet’s LGBTQ+ community group, Inkluder CiC, will be held at Victoria Park in Finchley on Sunday, August 20.
This news coincides with the council’s symbolic act of raising the Rainbow flag above Hendon Town Hall, marking the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Leading up to the eagerly anticipated event, acclaimed photographer Chris Jepson has been commissioned to create a captivating collection of stories and portraits featuring individuals who live and work in the borough. This project, titled ‘The IDENTITY Project – A Portrait of a Community,’ is a digital exhibition jointly organized by Middlesex University and Inkluder CiC. It aims to celebrate and provide visibility to LGBTQ+ individuals, ultimately showcasing Barnet’s vibrant and inclusive community.
Councillor Zahra Beg, Cabinet Member for Equalities, Communities & the Voluntary Sector, expressed enthusiasm about the forthcoming celebrations, stating, “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Barnet with our first-ever Pride in the Park event and the wonderful photography exhibition led by Chris Jepson.
“We hope that by holding these events and exhibitions, it will help give visibility to LGBTQ+ people in the borough and help to promote Barnet’s diverse and inclusive communities. We are a council that cares, and we want to create a safe space for everyone to come together, celebrate their identity, and promote equality and acceptance for all.”
George Nicholls, Director of Inkluder CiC, expressed his excitement at the council’s positive response to their proposal, saying, “When we approached Barnet Council with the idea for our ‘Pride in The Park’ event, they were delighted. It’s likely that over 20,000 people in Barnet are LGBTQ+, so we are very excited about providing a safe space for people to connect.
“We believe that true equality can only be achieved when everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is able to live their lives without fear of discrimination or persecution. As a lifelong resident of Barnet, I am committed to working towards this goal by raising awareness, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in our community. Together, we can transform Barnet into a community where everyone is free to be who they are and love who they choose.”