Tom Daley hails ‘amazing’ Pride House Birmingham on visit to venue in city’s Gay Village

Four-time Commonwealth Games champion encourages those attending Birmingham 2022 to pop in to Pride House; Daley stopped by with group of LGBTQ+ activists ahead of their memorable appearance in Opening Ceremony; “Pride House is for everyone!” Daley tells The Pride House Podcast – new episode out now!

By Jon Holmes

Tom Daley was snapped on 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 has urged people to show their support for the venue and project.

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

In the ceremony, estimated to have been watched by over a billion people around the world, Daley was flanked by a group of six flagbearers holding aloft Intersex Inclusive Progress Pride flags. All were from countries that either still criminalise same-sex intimacy or only recently repealed their colonial-era anti-LGBTQ+ laws.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 on his visit to Pride House. Goba and Jones returned on Friday to take part in events and activities, including a discussion on the challenges facing LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.

On Thursday, Daley and his friends took time to view and contemplate the ‘LGBTQ+ Rights in the Commonwealth’ exhibition and also the new ‘Photos of Pride’ display which so far features images of over 50 out athletes from Games past and present.

He was also snapped with Pride House’s resident pooch Rocco, who is fast becoming a celebrity in his own right!

Speaking exclusively to The Pride House Podcast, Daley said: “It’s just amazing to have such an inclusive space here in Birmingham, and have athletes, spectators, family members all be able to 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 that want to be able to come and have a safe space, and be able to learn more and educate themselves.”

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

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

There was also a very special event on Monday to mark the opening of the ‘Birmingham Remembers Their Names’ exhibition of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt. Viewings of the Quilt continue on Monday, with hour-long slots available to book via the PHB website.

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

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, up to and including Monday, August 8.

A busy programme of exhibitions, activities, performances, screenings and entertainment is supplemented 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 at @pridehousebham on InstagramTwitterFacebook and TikTok.


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