Pride Cymru 2022
After three postponed years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the highly-anticipated Pride Cymru event took place in Cardiff during the August Bank Holiday. This year’s Pride drew thousands of attendees and spectators together, brought the colourful character of Cardiff to the forefront, and was a warm celebration of inclusivity, variety, and equality.
Saturday morning, the largest parade to have marched in Pride Cymru history took foot to the accompaniment of cheers, clapping, and the blowing of whistles. This was an evocative spectacle, with people from every walk of life travelling together with pride abounding in every step, every cheer, every song sung, every banner held tightly, in everything. From celebrating queer life in the arts to sports, and from cultural establishments, like the Urdd, to the nationally driven campaigns, such as for trans rights, various key matters to the LGBTQIA+ community in Wales were highlighted. What was so humbling was seeing our FM, Mark Drakeford, marching at the front of the parade, in an act of solidarity.
However, as the parade moved to St Mary’s Street, it was met with a small group of protestors who tried to hinder those who were marching. This held the festivities back by about twenty minutes as the police had to remove the protestors, but things weren’t dampened. Indeed, the atmosphere of the column of people who were marching proudly, as well as the hundreds upon hundreds of spectators who were cheering blissfully, was electric, and a multi-coloured surge was in everyone’s step. So much so that when they reached Cathay’s Park, to the Pride field, excitement abounded.
And it was there, on the grounds of Cathay’s Park, that celebrations were further held. From visiting the different stalls, to enjoying a drink with friends, family, partners, co-workers, to singing along to the drag queens and performers on the stage, the grounds were alight. As for the performances, there are so many that stood out, including Mel C, Welsh of the West End, and Boney M, and every single one contributed significantly to the whole atmosphere, which was one of love, community, and inclusivity.
In addition to these events, further ‘fringe’ events were held over the city that ensured for a constant celebration which continued up until the Monday evening.
This year’s Pride Cymru was monumental. It drew many thousands together and was a proud event which demonstrated that LGBTQIA+ people in Wales exist, that LGBTQIA+ people should be free to express themselves, and that LGBTQIA+ people deserve to feel part of society without fear of attack, prejudice or criticism, or, indeed, a sense of shame.
Without doubt, Pride Cymru returned with a bang, and has taken a great step into the future chapter of its story. The countdown has begun for Pride Cymru 2023 already, which will, it is fair to say, be another important celebration of LGBTQIA+ life and existence in modern Wales.