Call is made for county to have its own Pride festival

Representing HMP Northumberland. From left: Brenda Kirkup, Gaynor Ayre, Lorna Stewart-Hook and Debbie Flounders.
Representing HMP Northumberland. From left: Brenda Kirkup, Gaynor Ayre, Lorna Stewart-Hook and Debbie Flounders.

A woman who is in a same-sex marriage says she would love to see Northumberland have it’s own lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival, after the success of Newcastle’s Northern Pride.

Lorna Stewart-Hook, who is married to Carmelle, attended the recent celebrations at the Town Moor.

The annual event in Newcastle is the biggest LGBT festival in the North East. And Lorna says she wants Northumberland to follow suit.

Lorna, who has also created the Northumberland LGBT Network Facebook group, said: “I hope Northumberland Pride will happen one day.

“It would raise awareness of LGBT people locally, celebrate the LGBT lifestyle and let people know they can live their lives freely and society has moved with the times.

“Newcastle has a pride, Sunderland does – why not Northumberland?”

Lorna works at HMP Northumberland and thanks to her, the prison was involved at Northern Pride.

Prison staff joined forces with Independent Monitoring Board members and former employees to walk in the parade, along with thousands of other people.

As part of this, a special flag was made, with a combination of staff and prisoners’ logo designs. A competition was held for staff and inmates to design a logo that would be used for a year to feature on LGBT material within the prison, and feature on the flag.