Hertsmere flies Pride Progress flag in support of LGBTQ+ community

Hertsmere Pride Progress

Pride Progress flags were raised in Potters Bar, Borehamwood and Bushey on Tuesday. - Credit: Hertsmere Borough Council

To celebrate Pride Month and show support for the LGBTQ+ community, Hertsmere Borough Council is flying the Pride Progress flag in Potters Bar.

The flag, an updated version of the rainbow Pride flag which better represents diverse communities, was raised at Parkfield in the town on Tuesday, as well as in Borehamwood and Bushey.

“We are proud to be celebrating our richly diverse borough and workforce, and more widely, standing in support with the still-relevant fight for civil rights within the LGBTQ+ community across the world,” said Hertsmere Mayor John Graham.

“June commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, an event which marked a turning point in the gay rights movement in America and worldwide.

“This year marks 50 years since the first Pride event in the UK and the month provides an opportunity to educate ourselves on issues and advocate for further change, but also to celebrate the community and how far LGBTQ+ rights have come.”

Data from the Home Office shows that LGBTQ+ hate crime has risen every year since 2016/17, with homophobia behind one in eight reported hate crimes in Hertfordshire for the year ending March 2021.

“We’re committed to working with our local partners to ensure that Hertsmere is a safe place for our LGBTQ+ community. We recognise the struggles you face and take this very seriously,” said Hertsmere chief inspector Mark Bilsdon.

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"If you are ever the victim of an LGBTQ+ hate crime or hate incident, please never hesitate to report it to us. We will do everything we can to support you and get justice.

“I would like to remind the community that we also have dedicated LGBTQ+ Liaison Officers who are trained to give extra support and help to you.”

Hertsmere Borough Council is offering grants to voluntary organisations and community groups that celebrate Hertsmere’s diverse communities and promote inclusion across the borough, with a funding boost of up to £2,000 available.

Throughout June, council staff are also invited to wear Progress Pride badges to show support to the LGBTQ+ community. These were purchased from The Pride Shop, where donations from sales support The Pride Fund – raising funds for Pride events across the UK.