Pride Month is being marked by East Devon District Council (EDDC) in a bid to tackle biphobia and homophobia, locally.
The council is celebrating diversity and inclusion through flying the Pride Flag on its Honiton Blackdown House headquarters during June.
Councillors in 2020 voted that the flag should annually fly throughout June – Pride Month – to recognise the contribution that the LGBTQ+ community makes in East Devon.
Flying the flag is an important example of raising awareness and visibility, celebrating difference and ultimately making discrimination and hate a thing of the past…
Councillor Joe Whibley, EDDC ward member for Exmouth town, said: “Last year, I was delighted to be involved with a motion which ensured EDDC moved into line with other local councils in celebrating the contribution that the LGBTQ+ community – of which I am a proud member – makes to every aspect of life in our beautiful district.
“Flying the flag is an important example of raising awareness and visibility, celebrating difference and ultimately making discrimination and hate a thing of the past.”
In Exmouth some 17 specially-commissioned flags have been raised in the town centre and along the seafront.
Exmouth Pride organisers hope the flags will help raise awareness of LGBT+ issues (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other minority sexual orientations and gender identities) following the cancellation of the town’s 2021 Pride celebrations because of Covid-19.
The town’s Pride celebrations are expected to return to Exmouth in 2022, to be held in Manor Gardens.
Chris Everall, of Exmouth Pride, said: “Visibility is an issue in the LGBT+ world and it is important for marginalised people, who often face issues of isolation, to see that they are welcome.
“We can’t do it with our annual celebration in the Manor Gardens this year, but we can still show that we are here.”
The flags have been designed with the help of local business, with the support of Exmouth Town Council, and lottery funding.