Alderney Pride shows the island’s positive spirit

ALDERNEY’S Victoria Street was buzzing to the sound of music, whistles and cheering as around 100 locals unfurled a giant banner and marched to show diversity and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite pouring rain their spirits were not dampened and they brought the sleepy hamlet of St Anne’s town centre into joyous, rainbow-coloured focus, as they marched behind their police escort car, AY 999.

It was Alderney’s second Pride event, and one of the organisers, Rachel O’Toole, was delighted with the turnout.

The island’s young people made up the majority of the attendees.

‘There’s two flags that Channel Island Pride use, and the big main flag was in the Isle of Man and headed to Jersey. So we were very kindly allowed to use the flag from Liberate in Guernsey, and it’s all of the different identities. It was huge but we had enough people to carry it.

‘The majority of people were probably from the younger generation, which is fantastic, it’s what it’s all about and why we wanted to do it, it’s good that they are supportive of each other, it was really lovely to see.’

Alderney Pride was cancelled last year because of Covid-19, so this year there was a lot to celebrate.

The organisers were overwhelmed with the positive reaction from the business community, who stepped up with sponsorship, prizes, and donations for the raffle.

Alderney is a very accepting place, said Rachel O’Toole one of the organisers. (Picture by David Nash)

The main sponsors were Julie-Ann Uggla, Alderney Farm Shop, James Clarke, and Cantina Number 6/Bacchus.

All the profits and proceeds from the event will go towards next year’s Alderney Pride.

Rachel said the whole community had come together.

‘Alderney is very accepting, there’s a lot of community spirit. Where you might expect a lot of bigotry, it really isn’t like that, I think because we all live so close and you know everybody.

After the parade in the rain, Alderney Pride continued with a disco in the Butes Community Centre. (Picture by David Nash)

‘You’re always going to get a bit of generational disagreement, but on the whole there’s a really positive community spirit, especially with LGBT+ stuff, everyone’s very accepting and just gets on with it, it’s all part of life.’

After walking the cobbled streets, everyone headed for the dry warmth of the Butes Community Centre, next to the playing field, for a disco party and barbecue.

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