Pride Cymru is a volunteer led charity that works to promote the elimination of discrimination be it on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or ability.
Our vision is for the LGBT+ community to be positively connected with society and to flourish as a community that is valued and accepted in its diversity and be free from hate crime, discrimination and prejudice.
Despite recent legislative achievements, there is still more work to be done in Wales and around other parts of the UK to improve outcomes for LGBT+ people and to create a society where people feel comfortable being who they are, at home, in the community and the workplace.
What started as an organisation working in partnership with Cardiff Council in 1999 to put on a one day pride event, now 20 years on, Pride Cymru is one of Wales’ leading LGBT+ charities. Our work is aimed at challenging discrimination in relation to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia through our year-round project work with schools and colleges, our support and collaboration with LGBT+ community groups and by the flagship annual Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend festival.
Cardiff Wales LGBT Mardi Gras (trading as Pride Cymru) is wholly operated and organised by volunteers governed by a Board of Trustees led by its Chair, Gian Molinu. There is also the event management committee who puts together the Big Weekend and we have over 200 volunteers who give up their time throughout the year to support the work that we do.
We work to support all areas within the LGBT+ community throughout Wales and by engaging and partnering with other organisations, we strive towards acceptance and respect for all.
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.
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.
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’ in 2015 in terms of improving accessibility for deaf and disabled attendee’s and has now achieved Gold Award making it only the second Pride in the UK to have that standard.