A PRIDE event in Aberystwyth is set to return for the first time in more than a decade after new organisers were inspired by the town finally being confirmed as the ‘LGBTQ+ capital of Wales.’

Event organiser Ren Williams said they were not surprised by landmark Office for National Statistics data which appears to suggest Aberystwyth South ward has more LGBTQ+ people (16.5 per cent) than anywhere else in the nation.

Ceredigion county also ranked highest of all regions in the study for those who described themselves as queer, non-binary, bisexual, pansexual, asexual and other unspecified non-heterosexual orientations.

Ceredigion also has the highest concentration of people (0.7 per cent) - equal with Cardiff - aged 16 and over who identify with a gender identity different to their sex registered at birth.

Ren told the Cambrian News: “I think I’m not surprised because I grew up here. I lived between Aberystwyth and Aberaeron most of my life and I’ve met a lot of queer people. I think it’s higher because it’s always been a queer-friendly place.

“We have been working on a plan to stage a Pride event for a few months but the census lit a fire under me to get moving!

“I think it’s important to have a pride event because it brings together the queer community, a very diverse set of people as a whole, and unites us.

"Pride is as important as it ever was, with hate crime rising and protests and legal movements against the RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) because it mentions same-sex families (families like mine - I have two kids).

“Pride helps show the world Aberystwyth (and Ceredigion) support and loves its queer community and shows young queer people or people not ready (or able) to come out yet, that it’s a safe place and it is possible.”

There hasn’t been an official event in Aberystwyth or Ceredigion since ‘Pride on the Prom’ in 2012. Ren says they have received support from lots of willing volunteers and hopes to run an event even if it is only small.

Ren says they want it to be focused on the spirit of the original pride, Welsh queer culture and language, and for it to be inclusive to families and kids, disabled and neurodivergent people.

Pride originated with the events of the Stonewall Inn rebellion in which thousands of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers gathered to march against stigmatisation, oppression and police brutality.

Ren runs Queer Little Shop in Aberystwyth which creates clothing, badges and art dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and its story.

The creation of the new Pride group also coincides with the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Action Plan to improve safety, education, housing, health and social care.

The Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, said: “We have come a long way in the past few decades, but we cannot be complacent. Progress can and never should be taken for granted. LGBTQ+ communities remain under attack, with our hard-fought-for rights at risk of being rolled back around the world, including here in the UK.

“I’m proud that here in Wales LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government commitments and the LGBTQ+ Action Plan is a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

“The plan is ambitious but with hope at its heart. We are absolutely committed to meaningful change for LGBTQ+ communities, creating a society and country where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as ourselves.”