On 22nd July 2017, Scouts in the Humberside County attended their second Hull Pride event, almost tripling in size from the previous year. Pride events allow Scouting the chance to show that we're very much inclusive for all, no matter gender, sexual orientation, age, race or religion. This year, not only being the City of Culture but Hull Pride was also the first official UK Pride and was also celebrating 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK.
Amelia, an Explorer Scout from The Wellies ESU in Hull, said: "I was there today at Hull Pride to parade together as one unit of our Scouting community showing that even we, the Scouting movement, promote and assist the LGBTQ+ community. I myself recently came out to everyone I know really, that I was a lesbian. And being there today was so important because I felt so proud to be who I was, walking with thousands of other people who are within the LGBTQ+ community felt so surreal because they were all proud too, everyone for one day was not judged, was not laughed at, was all together as one it was such a special day seeing everyone so happy to be themselves!"
Among the almost 70 Scouters who attended was Kester Sharpe, the Deputy UK Chief Commissioner, who also was part of Hull Pride last year and has been at London Pride for the last few years. "It was fantastic to join so many fellow Scouts to take part in Hull (or should I say, UK) Pride. The reaction from the huge crowd to seeing us was brilliant, so positive. Pride is a celebration of equal rights and inclusion, and gives Scouting an opportunity to show the public that we are inclusive and open to all. The date for next year's Hull Pride has already been set for 21st July. If you want to help celebrate #Scouting4All, it would be great to see you there."
Mike Rouse-Deane, who has organised Hull Pride and also attended Pride events around the country as part of his membership to FLAGS, the National Scout Active Support Unit which actively supports the recruitment, retention and ongoing support of LGBT adults within The Scout Association. "Attending Pride is not only personal to myself but I'm proud to show that Scouting is welcoming, no matter who you are, and it's great to always hear the public's reaction of shock and surprise that the Scouts are not only there, but that they're also overjoyed to see them. Local Prides are more important to promote Scouting in a positive way and welcome everyone into this amazing movement."
Hull Pride takes place 21st July 2018 next year, with an even bigger and larger presence, and would be great to have as many Leaders, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers in attendance as possible. Details will be coming at the later end of the year.