EXCITEMENT is growing as gay pride is set to return.
Organisers of Portsmouth’s Pride are urging people to take part in the march next week.
And this Saturday a launch party kicks off a series of film screenings being held in the lead up to the event.
Katie Yeomans, 63, of Southsea, is an avid supporter of the march, that is returning for a second year. She is urging people to get involved.
She said: ‘It’s a celebration for the whole city to enjoy.
‘You get single men and women, married couples and other sections of the community come along – that’s exactly what we want.’
Katie is transgender and has previously spoken about her life-changing transition and is urging people to join the march next Saturday.
She added: ‘I’ve had a few setbacks, but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with life.
‘I would encourage LGBT+ people to embrace themselves and not be isolated.’
Proceedings start at noon on June 18 in Guildhall Square with speeches. The march goes to Southsea Common via Hampshire Terrace.
Community and retail stalls, cabaret performances, funfair rides and live musical acts, including chart-hitting British girl-group Stooshe, will be on offer. Gates for the ticketed event open at 1pm.
Sara Reada, 26, chairwoman of the committee, hopes the event will one day follow in the footsteps of world-renowned Brighton Pride.
Ms Reada said: ‘We’re definitely heading in that direction. Hopefully, each year is going to be bigger and better.’
She added: ‘It’s an incredible event for integration and for people to feel safe, happy and have a great time.’
Adult tickets cost £8, under-fives go free and children’s tickets cost £4.
The launch party is being held on Saturday at the Spinnaker Tower followed by film screenings in the week.