CITY councillor Laura Lacey has been named as the Pride of Gwent LGBTQ Campaigner of the Year.

Cllr Lacey says her role as Newport City Council’s LGBTQ+ Champion is a “responsibility she loves”.

She will cap off a busy year, having helped to organise the second-ever Pride in the Port and promote the Proud Councils partnership at the Senedd, as a Pride of Gwent winner in association with New Directions Care & Support.

South Wales Argus: Pride of Gwent Awards 2023

“I’ve been able to become a much more visual ally with Pride in the Port,” she said.

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community in Newport have been able to contact me directly with any issues they have or may have seen around the city such as transphobic graffiti and stickering.”

South Wales Argus: The city celebrated the second-ever Pride in the Port this year

The Welsh Labour councillor says Wales has been a "shining beacon" for LGBTQ+ rights, with the Welsh Government's action plan to make Wales the most friendly LGBTQ+ nation in Europe.

“The plan is ploughing ahead, making Wales a safer place and a nation of sanctuary for LGBTQ+ migrants, improving healthcare outcomes, ensuring education is inclusive and improving inclusion and participation in all areas of life,” she said.

“But at a Westminster level we are seeing a massive degradation of rights – the ban on conversion therapy not in the King’s Speech, the hostile rhetoric used when referring to Trans+ people.

“They are seeing a significant impact on their daily life; be it access to healthcare or the insistence on dead-naming Trans people in the media and even on death certificates and headstones.

“Working with the Pride in the Port team shows me that there is a wonderful LGBTQ+ community in Gwent and we have a wonderful community of supportive allies and organisations who go all out to make the city as inclusive as possible.

South Wales Argus:

“We still have so much more to do and I will continue to push on, to challenge and speak out until the community feel safe – especially for our Trans+ residents.

“I’m very humbled to win a Pride of Gwent award. Everything I do is led by the community. I’m just privileged to have been given a platform that allows me to speak and challenge on their behalf.

“It’s also important that my children see me being an active and vocal ally, calling out hate and bigotry not just locally but nationally. I hope I’m instilling in them the values I live by – to make others know they are loved and valued, and always have their backs.

“This award is for all those in the Newport LGBTQ+ Community who put their faith in me.”

The Pride of Gwent Awards winners’ ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 7, at Rodney Parade.