The Cornwall Pride Bus took off on Saturday, February 25, to spread the love across the county.
The tour stopped off in Camelford, Launceston, Callington, Torpoint, Looe, Liskeard, Lostwithiel, and St Blazey, and we followed the action as it unfolded.
The first stop saw the colourfully bedazzled team stop off at Camelford Library & Bookstart Bear, before making the short journey to Launceston, with only a 10-minute delay to the planned timings.
During their visit to Launceston the CEO of Cornwall Pride Matthew Kenworthy Gomes provided some insight into the reason for the Cornwall Pride Bus tour.
He said: “Cornwall Pride’s aim is very simple, it’s a ‘hate free Cornwall’. We deliver that within Cornwall Pride through our values which are ‘love who you want to love, be who you want to be’, and that is not just the LGBTQ+ community but that’s reaching out to all marginalised groups and saying you know what, enough is enough, we should have the ability to be our beautiful selves.”
A small but joyful crowd then greeted the Pride Bus as it arrived in Callington.
Pride flags and people dressed in an array of colours joined in with chants and songs to keep the chilly weather at bay.
Matthew said they had chosen February to do the tour as “Pride was not just about summer” and at this time of the year when it was a bit miserable they wanted to bring colour, sunshine, inspiration and love into the community.
We caught up with Callington Tesco Community Champion Juliet Williams who is also a committee member for Not Alone Plymouth, a trans/non binary support group and director of Plymouth Pride, who said: “It is great to give people a chance to celebrate who they are where they are. The big pride events in Plymouth and Tavistock are great but to be able to celebrate in your own town is amazing.”
The bus then travelled some distance to visit the towns of Torpoint and Looe on the next step of their journey.
Both town’s provided a warm welcome, with the tour gathering in Torpoint’s Library following by The Globe in Looe.
Next up was a Liskeard where a group of around 20 supporters including Liskeard Town Mayor Cllr Simon Cassidy had come together to show their support.
Despite the cold conditions, the onlookers were serenaded by Pride member Lanie Davies from St Blazey singing the ‘Bear Necessities’ on her ukulele and the LGBTQ+ choir ‘Vocal Presence’ singing ABBA’s ‘I Have a Dream’.
With a final stop off in Lostwithiel to unfurl potentially the UK’s largest pride flag before ending the journey in St Blazey the Cornwall Pride team certainly spread the love during the day.
To find out more about the Cornwall Pride team and the work they do for the LGBTQ+ community visit cornwallpride.org