Statement on Rugby Pride incident

Today the sun was shining for the third Rugby Pride event that we have organised in the town. For the first time we added a Pride March to the event and it was fantastic to see so many people attending.

The event started with several speakers talking at the clocktower. Unfortunately, one of the speakers chose to use their platform to make unfounded and untrue comments about Warwickshire Pride. The comments related to not having enough presence in Rugby, letting down LGBT+ communities, and our positive engagement with the Police and Rugby Borough Council. The individual also called our Chair a “fucking monkey” and aimed swear words at him.

While Warwickshire Pride is not above criticism, we will not accept bullying of any of our trustees, staff, or volunteers, who all work hard to facilitate LGBT+ groups and events across Warwickshire.

Some members of Warwickshire Pride’s team had to leave the event due to feeling unsafe. This is clearly not acceptable at an event such as Pride.

While we will always listen to criticism and aim to act positively in response, we wholly condemn the abuse of any members of our team and untrue statements made about the charity.

Thank you to everyone who attended Rugby Pride today. Please browse our website for information on groups and events we run in Rugby and all across Warwickshire. We have done and continue to do the following in Rugby:

  • Weekly LGBT+ youth group
  • Monthly LGBT+ adults group
  • Promotion and raising awareness of Warwickshire Pride services at Rugby College and several schools in Rugby
  • LGBT+ History Month protest outside Rugby Town Hall
  • Conducting research on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Rugby
  • Developing an LGBT+ action plan with Rugby Borough Council that is about to be updated
  • Providing LGBT+ awareness training to Rugby Borough Council
  • Annual satellite Pride event

Then there are the countywide services such as providing food parcels, warm packs, and the upcoming pay-what-you-can counselling service so that LGBT+ people who can’t afford private therapy can access free or low-cost counselling without being put on an NHS waiting list and having to wait months or years.

This is important in the face of the homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that is especially prevalent in Rugby.