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Celebrating Dorset’s LGBTQ+ youth community

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Matt Prosser (Dorset Council's Chief Executive), stands with partners and members of the Chesil Youth Pride working group, including the Dorset Music Hub, The Drop-In (Portland), Space Youth Project, Weymouth College and the Youth Voice team

On Saturday 29 June, Chesil Youth Pride took place – hosted by Dorset Council and Weymouth College and in partnership with Space Youth Project, The Drop-In Portland, Dorset Music Hub, and Dorset Police.

The fun-filled event held at Weymouth College, was a celebration of diversity and a show of support for Weymouth and Portland’s LGBTQ+ young people. The theme this year, chosen by young people in the local LGBTQ+ community, was ‘Intersectionality,’ with the tag line ‘See Me.’

The event, now in its second year, responds to the feedback Dorset Council received from LGBTQ+ young people in the Chesil locality, and the need to provide a safe space to celebrate their identity and who they are.

Chesil Youth Pride kicked off with a mix of stalls, music, fun Pride-based activities, food, face paint and creative activities for young people and children to get involved in.

Around 250 young people, their allies, friends, families, and members of the local community attended the event, before taking part in a celebrative parade along Weymouth’s Esplanade.

Attendees also heard from key speaker and experienced Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Helen Gould, who led a talk on 'being seen and how to advocate for yourself'.

Teams from Dorset Council’s Children’s Services, and youth workers from partner organisations, attended the event to offer advice and support to LGBTQI+ young people and to signpost them to available services.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service kindly lent their support on the day, taking part in the parade and helping to safely manage the flow of traffic.

Cllr Clare Sutton, Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said; “Chesil Youth Pride was a safe space where our young people could be seen and be themselves, and they received a warm reception along Weymouth’s seafront on a lovely sunny afternoon.

“Thank you to everyone involved in planning the event, especially our partners, schools and the young people who took part on the day. What a wonderful way to celebrate Dorset’s LGBTQ+ young people.”

Feedback from attendees:

"Thank you for giving us a safe space to celebrate.”

“A fabulous day, where everybody could be themselves and it allowed me to support my friends.”

“We are proud to be here with our young people. Supportive, inclusive, inspiring, and motivational. Thank you!”

“Thank you for holding a space today for me to be me – I feel seen.”

“Thank you for making our kids feel proud!”

“It is so nice to know you can just be yourself. The feeling of just being free, knowing nobody is judging you.”

To find out more about the events and activities that young people can get involved in, visit our website, or follow Dorset Council Youth on social media.