Last weekend I was delighted to attend the first Major Pride event in Llantwit Major. This was the very first Pride event to take place in the Vale of Glamorgan.
As the local MP, it was a real privilege to be invited to join the event and to see first-hand how our community in Llantwit Major really got behind it. It was a huge milestone to see the Pride flag flying throughout the town and it was an honour to be a part of the opening of Major Pride.
It was a spectacular day that united the whole community. I’d like to pay tribute to Rhodri Ellis Owen, who organised the event. His enthusiasm was infectious and the impact will be long lasting. Rhodri worked tirelessly to ensure that the event was a success. He did a fantastic job and I know that so many people enjoyed the day.
I’d also like to thank all who put their heart and soul into getting involved. From local businesses and residents to those working for the police and emergency services; so many showed their support.
I was delighted to be involved in awarding certificates to businesses that had taken part in the competition for the best window display leading up to Major Pride.
As the first event, it was all about making sure everyone knew that it was happening and that everyone got involved and I was so impressed by the displays.
This hugely successful local event is a reflection of a wider picture in recent years. Gay Marriage passed in the House of Commons in 2013. I regret the decision to vote against it and see the positive difference it has made to the lives of many.
It was a pleasure to hand over the awards to Cwtch for First Prize, Well Pharmacy for Second and Gwyneth J Morgan Optometrist for Third. Huge congratulations to those stores and to everyone else who participated, it was amazing to see the shopfronts of Llantwit so colourful.
I would also like to mention Nickleby’s Bookstore, who were awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for their window display. Although they did not make the top three, I was particularly impressed by the thought behind their display as they ensured that all books in their window were written by LGBT authors.
There is no doubt that Major Pride should be a permanent fixture and return to Llantwit in the future. I know that it will be warmly welcomed by all and I can’t wait to be involved once again.