Gay Pride turns Wolverhampton into sea of colour
Waving rainbow flags and blowing whistles around 500 people marched through Wolverhampton's city centre as part of the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) event.
The city was brought to a standstill as members from the LGBT community and supporters took part in the Wolverhampton and Black Country LGBT pride parade.
Holding up banners the display was backed by local businesses with workers from Gorgeous in School Street, University of Wolverhampton students and Wolverhampton Homes employees, just a few of those among the procession.
The colourful scene kicked off at 1pm and went on a one mile route through the city that left Market Square, to the beat of a drum, along Salop Street and Cleveland Street before concluding after a loop of the city in School Street.
It was the second time the event has been held and followed the success of last year where more than 2,000 visitors attended.
Among the crowd was the well known gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
He joined in the march holding a placard which called for equality before addressing the crowds gathered in School Street.
Those watching the parade spoke of its importance to the LGBT community in Wolverhampton and their hopes for bigger plans in the future.
Elisha Nicholls, 16, from New Invention, Willenhall, said: "It is a significant event for the gay community in Wolverhampton. There is a big community here, it's a city after all, and straight people get a chance to celebrate through marriage so it's good that the LGBT can do so with an event like this. Everyone is friendly and it's always a happy atmosphere."
Alex Jackson, 16, from Cannock Road, Wolverhampton, said: "I had a friend who told me he was gay and it made me feel awkward around him. I didn't like that I felt that way so I came here to open my mind to the community and the culture and I have found that everyone is friendly and open to talk to and I'm made to feel welcome. It's almost like a religion in some respects."
Dana Cartwright, 21, from Parkfield said: "An event like this is massive for Wolverhampton and it just what the community needs and hopefully year by year it will get bigger."
Jonathan Webber, 56, from Newbridge Street, added: "Wolverhampton doesn't celebrate as a city enough and this is why the parade and the event is very important. It's about equality and equal rights for all and it's good to see so many people out in support for it."
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