Larne strongman Chris McNaghten outlines plans for second Larne Pride after Downing Street reception

Strongman and LGBTQ ambassador Chris McNaghten has outlined plans for a second Larne Pride Festival following a reception at Downing Street.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:08 pm

The Larne man was one of those who attended the event hosted by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to mark the end of Pride Month on June 29.

The reception was attended by LGBTQ people whose lives have been positively impacted by the work of the Government, as well as those representing key organisations working on LGBTQ issues in the UK and internationally.

Chris and Jon Swan were one of the first same-sex couples to get married in Northern Ireland after legislation came into effect making it legal in 2019.

Chris McNaghten and Jonathan Swan at 10 Downing Street.

Commenting on the trip to London, Chris said: "It was nice to be recognised for work I've done over the years in mental health and LGBTQ awareness, and also to be congratulated on our marriage."

The local man added he was "impressed" with Mr Johnson's outlook for the LGBTQ community. "The Prime Minister talked about how to economically have the best education, jobs and opportunities a country can have, it has to be a country that is open and welcoming to everyone. Not just for the economy; it's morally right that everyone in our country should be allowed to be whoever they wish to be and love whoever they wish to love.

"I felt that this is an outlook that Northern Ireland needs to understand; a country will not prosper when divided or without equality and diversity."

Chris, who spearheaded Larne's first ever Pride Festival in 2019, outlined the plans for a second celebration this summer. "Larne Pride will go ahead again this year," he said. "Not to the scale of our first year for obvious reasons, but we will still have Pride night to celebrate how far this town has come over the years and to show how much more work needs done."