Folkestone Pride is an LGBTQIA+ led community organisation who organise Folkestone's annual town-wide Pride Festival as well as many other events throughout the year.
Our aim is to celebrate the diversity of the local LGBTQIA+ community and to make where we live an exciting and welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ people, both residents and visitors. We seek to promote tolerance, inclusion and community, whilst also acknowledging and celebrating diversity.
We are an inclusive community, a support network, and a place for resources on all aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community in Folkestone and Hythe district.
Folkestone Pride is an umbrella for our district's whole LGBTQIA+ community. We are more than just an annual parade — we provide safe spaces for people to meet, socialise, and learn. We spend our time raising awareness, educating, and advising on issues that face our community. Our summer parade is our biggest event — in 2019 there were over 1000 people in attendance! The visibility of a parade that celebrates the inclusivity and diversity of the local LGBTQIA+ community is particularly important for young people and those who are new to our community. Make sure to check out our calendar to see what's coming up soon!
Our pride team began as part of Folkestone Pride parade but every year we are growing. Folkestone is the hub of the main events but we represent our entire district and are proud to encourage everyone in the Folkestone and Hythe area to get involved. We stretch from Folkestone up to Cheriton, across to Hythe, and even further to Romney Marsh, including all the surrounding towns and villages. We have curated a safe community and have a wealth of resources to offer so we want to make sure we can reach out to as many communities as possible.
Folkestone is an incredible coastal town with a thriving Creative Quarter. We were the world's first Music Town! Folkestone Pride specifically connects with and supports local, independent businesses. We have a year-long programme of events that take place in all parts of Folkestone town, online, and stretching down the coast to East Sussex. Kent's connections to the LGBTQIA+ community go back years and we have been (and still are) home to some hugely influential LGBTQIA+ icons, including:
Derek Jarman (Film Director, Artist, Gardener, Author)
Paul O'Grady (Television Presenter, Radio Host, former Drag Queen)
Sue Sheppard (Founder of 'Lacies', inspiration for the hit musical Kinky Boots)
Julien Clary (Comedian, Actor, Presenter, Novelist)
Radclyffe Hall (Pioneering Author, best known for The Well of Loneliness)
Noël Coward (Playwright, Composer)