‘World’s smallest’ Pride march held on tiny housing estate to ‘celebrate love in all its forms’

Batt Close Pride 2023

Around 80 people have attended the “world’s smallest” Pride event in Warwickshire which was started by residents who wanted to support LGBTQ+ community. 

On Saturday (10 June), residents gathered on Batt Close, part of the Rochberie Heights development in Rugby, to march just 80 metres along their street. 

The parade was joined by local drag queen, Rubella Vaxine – known as Miss Ruby V – who led the neighbours in their march.

Residents Ben Goodwin and his partner, Ben Porcel, who launched the event four years ago, said they started it along with residents who “wanted to show solidarity with the wider LGBTQ+ community, particularly those who can’t celebrate as freely as we can”.

Goodwin told PinkNews that 80 people attended the event this year, doubling last year’s turnout. 

“It was our biggest Batt Close Pride yet. Everyone on the road turned up in their rainbow finest and we were joined by lots of allies from neighbouring streets,” he said.

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“From the bunting across the street to the rainbow-themed buffet, everyone came together to make it a success and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.”

The mini parade was led by Miss Ruby V, and soundtracked by Kylie Minogue’s summer anthem, “Padam Padam”.

“It may be the world’s smallest Pride parade, but strutting our way together down Batt Close, it felt like the world’s biggest and loudest,” Goodwin added.

Miss Ruby V told PinkNews: “I was so proud and honoured to be asked to lead the parade at Batt Close Pride.

“I love Pride and I especially love a Pride event that includes everyone, including allies and families. I have so much admiration for the residents of Batt Close and thank you all for being so fabulous!”

‘Pride truly begins at home’

Goodwin said he feels lucky to live within a community that “celebrates love in all its forms – creating a safe space where everyone can thrive and truly be themselves”. 

“On Batt Close, Pride truly begins at home, and we have bonded over our shared values of community, equality and inclusivity,” he continued.

“However, we also recognise that here in the UK and around the world, life for LGBTQ+ people continues to be scary. With this in mind, it’s never been more important for us to come out and show our commitment to those who can’t celebrate Pride as freely as we do. 

“I know that they’ll all be in our thoughts this weekend, and we hope to use our voices and speak up in solidarity with all members of our beautiful and diverse global community.”

Batt Close Pride 2022, which was held on Saturday 25 June last year.
Batt Close Pride in 2022. (Ben Goodwin)

Across the UK, Pride events have been held in celebration and support of the LGBTQ+ community, however, some events have been met with right-wing opposition. 

New Mills School in Derbyshire had planned to hold a non-school uniform event on 16 June, named ‘Drag ’n’ Rainbows’, in which children were invited to dress in rainbow colours or paint their nails to support Pride month.

But following negative reporting by the right-wing press, the school’s headteacher, Heather Watts, informed parents the event had been cancelled to “avoid any potential disruption to school”.