Rainbows, unicorns and inclusivity - LGBT+ garden party delights hundreds
PUBLISHED: 11:35 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:08 26 May 2019
A blaze of multi-coloured blooms at north Norfolk’s Stody Lodge Gardens provided the perfect backdrop for a celebration of diversity and inclusivity put on especially for the LGBT+ community.
Visitors travelled from near and far on May 25 to attend the second such 'Rainbow Party' the venue has put on. Stody's owner, Kate MacNicol, said she was delighted with its success.
Mrs MacNicol said: "We had a great turn-out from all groups within the LGBT+ community, all generations and family and friends.
"We had some people drive for three hours to get here and the feedback has been fantastic. It really means a lot to people that we're putting on something specifically for the LGBT+ community - someone described it as groundbreaking."
Norfolk Fire and Rescue were there with a fire engine adorned with rainbow flags, and the local constabulary also came along in a rainbow police car.
Drag artiste Auntie Titania performed a 'drag queen storytime' for a group of children, and brightly adorned goats and a unicorn - actually a horse - earned plenty of fans.
Performers included the Sing with Pride choir, musician Kimberley Moore and Ms BroadwayBaby, who sang show tunes.
Ben Andrews and Matt Naylor from Agrespect, a network supporting LGBT+ people in rural areas and in the agriculture industry, and performer 'Beccie' from the Oasis/Norfolk Transgender Support Group were guest speakers.
Many visitors enjoyed picnics and simply walking around the garden's 14 acres of colourful rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.
Julie Bremner, co-founder and trustee of Norwich Pride, who helped to organise the event, said she was thrilled with how it went.
She said: "Magical is the word for it. It really does make a difference - the colours, the happy faces, the sense of community. It just fills people with joy.
"LGBT+ people are more likely to face some sort of discrimination in rural areas, and that's one of the reasons we decided to do it."
Mrs MacNicol said plans were already afoot to bring the event back next year.
Funds raised from the day will go to support Norwich Pride and King's Lynn and West Norfolk Pride.