Liverpool to host KyivPride March on behalf of war-torn Ukraine capital

Liverpool will host Kyiv's annual pride march on behalf of the war-torn capital of Ukraine.

The city took up the role after the Ukrainian government made marches illegal in the city due to the Russian invasion.

It will form part of the annual LCR March with Pride event which, last year, saw more than 15,000 people turn the city's streets into a sea of colour.

The move will continue the city's Eurovision legacy and is a "message of solidarity, of unity and of hope" with Kyiv and Ukraine, organisers say.

Andi Herring, CEO of the LCR Pride Foundation said: “No matter where you are in the world, LGBT+ people demand the right to live freely and happily.

"Even in the UK, we are all aware of how easily these rights can be backtracked on or removed entirely, that is why we are proud to share our March with Pride this year with the LGBT+ communities of Ukraine.

"It is a message of solidarity, of unity and of hope for people here in Liverpool City Region and in Kyiv.”

The event, which was held in Warsaw in 2022, will take to Liverpool's streets on 29 July.

Liverpool's Masquerade Bar is planning the march, buoyed by a Eurovision party that saw a huge boost to business.

"Every single year in Liverpool we do the march for us, but this time we're doing it for us as well as them, which is a nice responsibility to have, for us to look after it for them," Gethin Mullock said.

"It's just standing with them and knowing that in our personal lives we've kind of gone through the same journeys, they've obviously gone through much more harrowing situations but we can stand with them in that sort of sense."

Liverpool hosted the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine Credit: PA

KyivPride was established in 2012 and hosts Ukraine’s largest LGBT+ event.

Lenny Emson, who was a founding member of KyivPride a decade ago and has led the organisation as an Executive Director for the last two years, said: “The Russian invasion took our right to march away from us.

"But international solidarity gives us a chance to keep marching for Ukraine, for LGBTQI rights, for freedom.

"Last year, Warsaw Pride welcomed KyivPride in the capital of Poland. This year, Liverpool stands up for Ukrainian LGBTQI people. 

“We call on all the communities across the United Kingdom and Europe: please, come and support the joint KyivPride and Liverpool March with Pride. Be there, be political, be visible.”

The two organisations have called for LGBT+ people and allies from the Liverpool City Region, and the people of Ukraine who are now part of communities across the region and beyond to join in this collaborative celebratory event.

Councillor Harry Doyle from Liverpool City Council said: “What better way to ensure that the legacy of Eurovision continues, than by using our City’s voice of compassion, passion and solidarity and sharing it with those who are currently prevented from doing so. Liverpool, as ever, stands with the people of Ukraine and will continue to celebrate what unites us." 

March with Pride is a walking march and free to attend for all individuals. Organisations and businesses that wish to take part are asked to make a suggested donation to help LCR Pride Foundation, the regional charity, cover the costs of staging the event.

Registration and more information is available here.