CI Pride 2019 started on Friday 6 September 2019 with a reading by children’s LGBT+ author, Olly Pike, at the Jersey Library. Olly presented the Government of Jersey Assistant Education Minister, Jeremy Maçon, with sets of his books for all Jersey primary schools. The event was sponsored by MasonBreese and we would like to thank them for supporting this initiative.
Many Jersey businesses had decorated their premises and raised the rainbow flag since the Monday of Pride week. The honours for biggest splash this year went to RBC who lit up both towers of their building and had four flags on their flagpoles. Thank you to all the businesses, large and small, who participated and showed their support. There were many more this year making St Helier feel welcoming.
On Saturday 7 September 2019 at 2pm the CI Pride parade started off from Royal Square, taking a new route to the waterfront. The parade was led this year by the Jersey Scout band wearing their rainbow ties. The crowds lining King Street applauded and cheered as the parade filled the length of main shopping street from the Square to Charing Cross. Turning into Castle Street, the parade then went right through the financial district, cutting through the Esplanade car park. The tunnel between the car park and the Waterfront was an unexpected bonus as paradegoers realised they could get the tunnel to “boom” from their drums, shouts and whistles.
On the Waterfront, the parade was joined by the Police, Fire and Ambulance vehicles who then led it into the Pride village.
As the head of the parade reached the Freedom tree the 50m long rainbow banner was rolled out, giving the media and photographers a great shot of the banner, the marina, Elizabeth Castle, the sun, sea and sand. It encapsulated Pride on the Beach.
Estimates put the number of attendees at over 5,000 making it the biggest CI Pride yet.
The Pride village was bigger and better than before, with more stalls, more charities and more family-friendly activities.
Thank you to HSBC, who made the quiet zone possible; thank you to Lloyds, who made the family fun zone possible; thank you to RBC, who sponsored the silent disco; and, thank you to Barclays, who also supported elements of the Pride village.
The Pride stage was compered by Ollie Bailey-Davies and Tigger Blaize, our friends from Liberate Guernsey. The opening speeches were made by Mark Cox from our lead sponsor the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society; Olly Pike; and, Christian May, who set the tone for this year’s more political Pride, making the point that CI Pride reaches out to those people around the world who do not enjoy the same freedoms that we do in the Channel Islands.
The entertainment was headlined by the London Gay Big Band, who really got the party started, and fabulous sets from local acts including Jamie Boylan, Sister Disco and Inside Job.
Down on the beach, activities were taking place with a drag race, tug of love (not war), sandcastle competition and the very popular kilted yogis.
Honouring what makes us different – Affirming what we have in common
On 7 September 2019, for the first time ever, Channel Islands Pride was on the beach of St Aubin’s Bay with Elizabeth Castle as our backdrop. Pride on the Beach highlighted two aspects of island life of which we are rightly proud – our coastline and our heritage – but it also celebrated what is arguably the most important part of Island life: community.
#PrideOnTheBeach was about saying loudly and proudly that this is everyone’s Island and the LGBTQ+ community is integral to Jersey’s story: past, present and future.
Pride celebrates community at its best: affirming our common humanity while honouring our differences, where we fight for everyone’s right to live free from prejudice, persecution and invisibility. At a time where violence is growing against LGBTQ+ people in many places in the world, it’s important for everyone, be they LGBTQ+ or allies, to stand together, show solidarity and celebrate the beauty of diversity.
Channel Islands Pride is all-inclusive event, open to anyone who wants to support the LGBTQ+ community and to celebrate and promote equality for all in the Channel Islands and across the world.
Pride 2019 could not have happened without our generous supporters and our volunteers who helped to marshal people and equipment on the day of Pride. Thank you to the CI Pride team, led by CI Pride Director, Christian May.
Thank you to The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society, our leading sponsor, Citi and G4S, our major sponsors.
Thank you also to Magic Touch, who also created and sold all our merchandise, Delta, Jersey Water, and Vibert Marquees. Thank you to the Parish of St Helier, the States of Jersey Police, St John Ambulance and the Jersey Waterfront Development Company, who make the logistics of Pride so much easier.
Thank you all for your contribution to making CI Pride 2019 the biggest yet!