Tom Daley hails ‘incredible’ Pride House Birmingham during visit to city’s gay village

Four-time Commonwealth Games champion encourages Birmingham 2022 attendees to come to Pride House; Daley stopped by a group of LGBTQ+ activists ahead of their memorable opening ceremony appearance; “Pride House is for everyone! Daley narrates The Pride House Podcast – new episode available now!

By Jon Holmes

Tom Daley was snapped during his visit to Pride House Birmingham, where he got to meet Rocco the dog!

Tom Daley says the importance of having a welcoming Pride House at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham cannot be underestimated and urged people to show their support for the venue and the project.

The Olympic gold medalist diver – who also has four Commonwealth gold medals in his collection – was a special guest at Pride House Birmingham on Thursday, just hours before carrying the Queen’s Baton into the Alexander Stadium arena during Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony.

At the ceremony, which was reportedly watched by more than a billion people around the world, Daley was flanked by a group of six flag bearers holding aloft Intersex Inclusive Progress Pride flags. All came from countries that still criminalize same-sex intimacy or only recently repealed their colonial-era anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Four of the activists – Glenroy Murray, Prossy Kakooza, Moud Goba and Jason Jones – were with Daley when he visited Pride House. Goba and Jones returned on Friday to take part in events and activities, including a discussion of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.

On Thursday, Daley and his friends took the time to view and contemplate the ‘LGBTQ+ Rights in the Commonwealth’ exhibit as well as the new ‘Photos of Pride’ exhibit which features images of more than 50 athletes from the Games so far past and present.

He was also photographed with Rocco, the resident pooch of Pride House, who is quickly becoming a celebrity in his own right!

Addressed exclusively to The Pride House PodcastDaley said: “It’s just amazing to have such an inclusive space here in Birmingham, and that athletes, spectators, family members can all come here and hang out.

“Pride House is for everyone – it’s not just for the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s for allies, it’s for people who want to be able to come and have a safe space, and be able to learn more and s ‘educate.”

On the podcast, Daley also discussed his forthcoming BBC documentary ‘Illegal To Be Me’ about the discriminatory legislation which is still in place in the majority of Commonwealth countries. Murray, the executive director of J-FLAG in Jamaica, and Sydney Morning Herald sportswriter Andrew Webster also join host Jon Holmes for a chat.

Daley’s visit was one of the highlights of an eventful first week at Pride House Birmingham. Since opening with a launch party on Friday July 23, there have been a series of events including an inspirational speech by legendary activist Peter Tatchell; another viewing of the Opening Ceremony, hosted by Pork drag queen Elizabeth Pie; lectures on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport by academics Dr Ryan Storr, Dr Sheree Bekker and Dillon Landi; and a fantastic atmosphere for England’s victory over Sweden which gave birth to Sunday’s Euro 2022 final, which will also be broadcast live from 5pm!

There was also a very special event on Monday to mark the opening of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt’s ‘Birmingham Remember Their Names’ exhibit. Quilt tours continue on Monday, with one-hour time slots available to book through the PHB website.

Organizer Neil Basterfield and guests Tom Hayes, Nick Heath and Jonathan Blake all spoke at The Pride House Podcast about the powerful experience of seeing the quilt and the many stories in each panel displayed in the Southside Building space.

Pride House Birmingham (PHB) – above the Loft Bar & Kitchen at 143 Bromsgrove St – will continue to welcome guests for the duration of the Commonwealth Games, until Monday 8 August inclusive.

A packed program of exhibitions, activities, performances, screenings and entertainment is complemented by viewing opportunities in the main bar and cafe (sober space) of live sport at Birmingham 2022.

Pride House Birmingham is for everyone! Connect on social media to @pridehousebham on Instagram, TwitterFacebook and TikTok.

Sports Media LGBT+ is a network, advocacy and advisory group that helps build a community of LGBTQ+ people and allies in sport. We’re also a digital publisher – and we’re very proud to be a Media Partner of Pride House Birmingham. Learn more about us here.

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