THE world-famous book town of Hay-on-Wye is to host its first ever LGBTQ+ Pride event in 2022.

Two friends, Graham Nolan and Helen Jane Campbell, who work and live in the Herefordshire border town, are going to be founding the event as a registered charity and are currently seeking volunteer trustees and also sponsorship from businesses.

Hay's Addyman Books, Bartrums stationers and Charlotte of Hay have all pledged to support the event and the organisers hope to add many other independent businesses to the list of supporters.

Hay Castle Trust have agreed in principle to host the event in 2022, with the restoration project set to be complete towards the end of 2021.


Organiser said the beautiful historic town-centre venue will be an ideal, accessible space for a family-friendly Pride event in its rooms and gardens.

As with all Pride events, which aim to bring communities together in celebration, protest, unity and solidarity, Hay Pride will be run on a not-for-profit basis and all donations will be used to put on a celebratory and diverse event, signalling that everyone is welcome in the town.

Helen Jane Campbell said: "We'd love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering as a trustee or in any other capacity.

"Priority will be given to LGBTQ+ applications for the trustee roles. We're keen to also prioritise all forms of diversity, creating a charity which stands with and for our rural community's LGBTQ+ residents, promoting allyship and establishing an event which welcomes everyone.”

Graham Nolan said: “Since moving to Hay in 2016 I have found the community here to be so welcoming of myself and my partner.

"Thing is, I don’t think it’s just us, I think Hay has a long history of being a welcoming and special place. It’s not like this everywhere and in my mind that needs celebrating.

"At the same time, I do see that the picture is not all sunshine and roses (wouldn’t that smell lovely?) I know there is still a huge amount of shame associated with sexuality and there are people rurally afraid to be themselves for many reasons.

"Pride events are not a quick fix, but what Hay Pride will do is create conversation, show off our town as being something special, invite debate and make sure locals who don’t themselves identify as LGBTQ+ know their power and value as allies in an inclusive community – it’s a love letter to this town from it’s LGBTQ+ residents, workers and visitors.”