Happy Valley Pride was born when local residents witnessed homophobic graffiti sprayed on a piece of tarpaulin by the Hebden Bridge Town Hall, during the summer of 2015. It was a stark reminder that there’s still work to be done – a casual phrase, that has been knocking around school playgrounds for decades, it was none-the-less shocking, simply because it is still in use in our seemingly, tolerant and open-minded community.
The first meeting took place in September 2015, when we formulated a mission statement outlining the fundamental purpose of our organisation:
“To celebrate LGBTQ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas. Promoting equality and diversity to eradicate discrimination, based on sexual orientation and gender identity, through education and engagement.”
As a mixture of local business people, artists, writers and entrepreneurs, we felt we could create a unique LGBTQ organisation in Hebden Bridge.
With the help of local artists, we turned the offensive graffiti statement into one of celebration and acceptance. It has become symbolic of the power of the people in overcoming intolerance and anti-social behaviour for Happy Valley Pride.
As a not-for-profit and volunteer-run organisation, we are grateful for all the support of our sponsors, volunteers and the kind donations of the public and local businesses. We wouldn’t be able to continue without them.
Hebden Bridge is a wonderful place. We’re famous for our quirkiness, creativity and open-mindedness. You should be able to be yourself here, no matter how you identify and the sense of community shines like no other place on earth. Let us all show our pride together.