Recently Belfast Lord Mayor Naomi Long congratulated the organisers of Belfast Gay Pride for their voluntary work in staging the biggest parade in Belfast this year.
Almost 10,000 people took part in the parade, and tens of thousands more lined the streets of Belfast to laugh, applaud, cheer and enjoy the colour and festivities.
As one of the organisers of the week-long festival, I would like to thank the people of Belfast for their support. Belfast Pride this year raised £450 for Diabetes UK, over £700 for the HIV Centre, and worked with the teaching unions to confront the issue of homophobia in our schools.
It brought thousands of people into city-centre shops, restaurants and hotels.
It was good for the city, culturally and economically.
It also sent out a message — Belfast recognises diversity and applauds it.
We are proud of our work, and we are immensely proud and grateful to the city and people of Belfast for the warm reception given to the festival and particularly to the parade. The smiles on the faces of the crowds as we passed made all the months of preparation worthwhile!
Next year is Pride's 20th birthday — we already have plans for an even bigger and better festival in 2010.
All the people of Belfast are invited to join us in the celebrations. Thanks again.
Belfast Pride Committee