Perry helps get party started as Pride House Birmingham opens at Commonwealth Games

Perry helps get party started as Pride House Birmingham opens at Commonwealth Games

  • Official Birmingham 2022 mascot among the VIP guests at opening night event in heart of city’s Gay Village
  • Ringing endorsements issued on visit by delegation from Commonwealth Games Federation
  • “Come down and find out more!” says Pride House Ambassador Michael Gunning

Pride House Birmingham is officially open – and you couldn’t find anyone more excited about it than Perry, the official mascot of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Brummie bull was strutting his stuff on Bromsgrove St on Friday night as the LGBTIQ+ inclusion venue celebrated its opening night with a VIP reception, hosted by sports reporter and former Wales hockey international Beth Fisher.

Special guests at the first event included Commonwealth Games medal winners for Team England, Heather Fisher and Sally Walton; the Minister for Sport and the Games, Nigel Huddleston MP; and Pride House Ambassadors Michael Gunning and Amazin LeThi.

Huddleston said: “Creating a ‘Games for Everyone’ has been an essential part of our vision for Birmingham 2022.

“Pride House is an important part of that vision, giving a warm welcome and safe space to LGBTIQ+ athletes, coaches and officials from across the Commonwealth.”

Earlier on Friday, a delegation of officials from the Commonwealth Games Federation, including president Dame Louise Martin and chief executive Katie Sadlier toured Pride House and thanked the team and volunteers for their hard work on the project, which has been many months in the making.

“I’m delighted to see the opening of Pride House Birmingham, which will be a fantastic hub to champion and enable LGBTIQ+ values throughout the Games,” says Dame Louise.

“We’re proud to support Pride House and as “The Games for Everyone” we believe that Birmingham 2022 will provide an inspiring and important opportunity to engage, champion and benefit many diverse communities, including the LGBTIQ+ sporting community.

“Our sporting family is defined by all kinds of diversity, including religious and cultural diversity. Through our support for Pride House, the CGF will continue to lead by positive example, embracing our shared passion for sport and living our values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny.”

The main venue is located in the heart of the city’s Gay Village, in close proximity to the Birmingham 2022 beach volleyball and basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3 venue at Smithfield.

Meanwhile, for the first time in Games history, Pride House also has a presence in the Athletes’ Villages, with trained volunteers staffing the stations set up at The University of Birmingham, The University of Warwick, and The NEC Hotel Campus.

Partners of Pride House Birmingham include E.ON, PWC, DXC Technology and LSH Auto. Delivering the project is Pride Sports UK, whose director Lou Englefield is also co-chair of Pride House International.

Piero Zizzi and Neil Basterfield, the co-founders of Proud Baggies – West Brom’s LGBT+ fans group – are also part of the executive team, with Sports Media LGBT+ proud to be the media partner on the project.

“We’re so excited to see visitors coming through the doors of Pride House Birmingham where they will find both culture and celebration but most importantly, they will take away a call to action,” says Englefield.

“Across the Commonwealth, millions of LGBTIQ+ people are still criminalised, stigmatised, discriminated against, or met with violence.

“The Games at Birmingham 2022 are an opportunity to drive conversation and demonstrate allyship, not least to people who are trans or intersex, with both groups increasingly being made to feel unwelcome in sport.

“We’re grateful to all our sponsors and supporters for providing the platform for Pride House Birmingham to inspire greater participation and inclusion through education.”

One of the big draws on offer at Pride House is an eye-opening exhibition detailing the challenging situation with regards to LGBTIQ+ rights across the five continents of the Commonwealth.

Alongside the Exhibition Room, there is a Gayming Arena, Education Room, and Media Suite, plus a Cafe and the Main Bar area.

A busy events schedule has already been announced, with more events being added frequently. Forthcoming highlights include Sunday’s Paddling With Pride session put on by British Canoeing; an event for parents with the Naz & Matt Foundation; a screening of ‘My God, I’m Queer’; and a Commonwealth Quiz Night.

The powerful UK Aids Memorial Quilt Exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday morning – book a ticket for a viewing slot – before Peter Tatchell talks about his life and career in activism from 6.30pm, followed by a live screening of England’s semi-final against Sweden at the Women’s Euros.

For details on all events and to register for ticket-only events, see our Events page.


Notes for Editors

Pride House Birmingham (PHB) is a venue dedicated to LGBTIQ+ inclusion, diversity and culture that is located in the heart of the city’s Gay Village, above The Loft Bar & Kitchen at 143 Bromsgrove St. It is already open to all ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday and will continue to welcome guests for the duration of the multi-sports event.
Pride Houses have been established at many sporting events around the world since 2010. Visitors include competing athletes, fans and spectators, VIPs, and people fulfilling other roles in the event itself. A busy programme of exhibitions, activities, performances, screenings and entertainment is supplemented by viewing opportunities of live sport.
At Birmingham 2022, and for the first time in Commonwealth Games history, the Pride House is fully integrated with a presence in the Athletes Villages, ensuring wider awareness of its ‘Celebrate, Participate, Educate’ ethos. An ongoing series of Pride House workshops has been delivered to local schools in recent months, funded by the Commonwealth Sport Foundation.
PHB is being championed by a group of athlete Ambassadors, five of which will compete at Birmingham 2022 - Team England duo Stacey Francis-Bayman (netball) and Tom Bosworth (athletics); Scotland wheelchair basketball stars Robyn Love and Jude Hamer; and India sprinter Dutee Chand. The other Ambassadors are former Jamaica and Great Britain swimmer Michael Gunning; global advocate and inclusion expert Amazin LeThi, a former bodybuilder; and the two-time Paralympic gold medal-winning rower Lauren Rowles, who competed for England in para athletics at Glasgow 2014.
The venue is supported by main sponsors E.ON, PWC, DXC Technology and LSH Autos.


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Contacts available for interview

Neil Basterfield
(Pride House Birmingham exec team)
Jon Holmes (PHB media)