Rhondda's first ever Pride criticised for banning bondage clothing, politics and religion

Louis Staples
Wednesday 31 July 2019 11:30
news

Organisers of Rhondda's first ever Pride have caused controversy by telling attendees not to wear bondage style clothing at the event.

The event, taking place in September, aims to celebrate the LGBT+ community. But a ban on "sexualised costumes", as well as politics and religion, has thrown the event into disrepute. Many have argued the request goes against what Pride is about, seeing as politics, faith and all kinds of fashion have deep historical roots within the LGBT+ community and LGBT+ activism.

In a Facebook post, Rhondda's MP Chris Bryant said:

To be honest, I don't think the organisers, whoever they are, have really thought this though.

It seems a bit self-defeating already and bizarre not to have involved the Rhondda MP who happens to be gay.

I am deeply saddened that the #Rhondda may now be seen as an unwelcoming place, which couldn't be further from the truth!

Angus, the current Mr Leather Wales, told Wales Online that the demands are baffling. He said:

Politics matters to us because it won us our rights. Religion has often helped us make sense of who we are.

And fetish is often an intrinsic quality of LGBT+ folks identities. Asking people to avoid these things goes against the history and tradition of Pride.

Had the event been presented differently, perhaps as a family day or Mardi Gras, I do not think the controversy would have been so fierce.

He also said Leathermen Cymru group were also told they were not allowed to attend the Rhondda event.

A spokeswoman for Rhondda Pride said the event would be rebranded as Rhondda Family Pride, if it still goes ahead. The statement reads:

The organisers of Rhondda Pride would like to apologise to the LGBTQ+ community unreservedly for our treatment of certain parts of our community.

We would like to point out that it was one of our organisers and not South Wales Police who stipulated that non family friendly factions would not be allowed to attend the event.

All we wanted to do was bridge the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and the community of Treorchy.

Maybe the best way of doing that was by having a family pride event, in other words a soft pride event, which would be easily accessible to the local community as well as the LGBTQ+ community.

H/T: Wales Online

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