World news story

UK's first LGBTQ+ Founders' Trade Mission kicks off Americas-wide 'Love Is GREAT' campaign

UK to host or participate in 29 equality awareness events to include Prides, film festivals, sport and LGBTQ+ tourism.

UK participation in a Pride parade

UK participation in a Pride parade Photo credit: Thomas Zamora

The British government will celebrate LGBTQ+ rights by marching in Prides and hosting LGBTQ+ events in 14 cities across the US, as well as 5 cities in Canada and 5 cities in Latin America, as part of VisitBritain’s Love is GREAT campaign.

A major highlight of the campaign is the UK’s first-ever LGBTQ Founders’ Trade Mission, bringing 9 UK-headquartered companies to New York for a bespoke program aimed at accelerating business growth in the US for LGBTQ business founders.

As a leader in LGBTQ+ equality and rights, the UK has proudly celebrated Pride season in America since 2013. Now, UK government leaders have joined with representatives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and VisitBritain to organise the UK’s widest array of business and public engagement events to date.

Sir Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to the US, said:

The variety of activities and events being organised by our teams across the United States - from Los Angeles to New York - are a clear demonstration of the importance the UK places on equality and LGBTQ rights.

Here in Washington, we were the first foreign government to participate in Capital Pride seven years ago. We’re honoured to stand with our LGBTQ friends once again.

Paul Gauger, Senior Vice President of the Americas, VisitBritain, said:

Showcasing Britain throughout the Pride season in these cities helps highlight the destination as a welcoming, inclusive, open and accepting place for all people to visit and enjoy. Whether you crave the unexpected or yearn for the undiscovered, VisitBritain’s LGBTQ+ campaign ‘Love is GREAT Britain captures 365 days of fun, love, culture and so much more.

Further information

UK’s first LGBTQ+ Founders Trade Mission

DIT helps businesses export and grow into global markets and helps overseas companies locate and grow in the UK. DIT is hosting the UK’s first LGBTQ Founders Trade Mission, a bespoke business program. Delegates will travel to New York for 3 days of networking events, round table discussions, introductions to business leaders, LGBTQ+ networks and mentors, and more. They will end the trip by marching with the British Consulate General New York in the WorldPride March on 30 June.

The companies participating in the Mission include: Agent Marketing, Audeliss, Brand Advance, Fusebox Games, GAY TIMES, PingPong Digital, PinkNews, Safehinge and WERKIN.

VisitBritain – ‘Love is GREAT’ campaign

VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, launched the Love is GREAT campaign in 2014 to welcome marriage equality in England, Wales and Scotland. The campaign highlights Britain as an all-embracing vacation choice for LGBTQ+ visitors, offering unique experiences – from city breaks to countryside escapes – which are easily accessible and open to all.

The official campaign site lists an array of choices for the LGBTQ+ traveler, including arts and cultural festivals, pride events, some of Britain’s best gay and lesbian nightlife, plus a vast spectrum of LGBTQ+-owned and welcoming accommodation throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Also featured on the site are LGBTQ+ city guides to London, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, and Brighton.

Britain and LGBTQ+ rights

The UK has had civil partnerships for more than a decade, and equal marriage became legal in 2014 in England, Wales and Scotland. In 2002, same-sex couples were granted equal rights to adopt. Since 2005, transgender people can change their legal gender in the UK, granting them a new birth certificate and affording them full legal recognition of their acquired sex.

The UK is renowned as one of the most progressive in Europe for LGBT rights by ILGA-Europe, which is a testament to the achievements that have been made. One of the core objectives of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy is increased respect for equality and non-discrimination for all members of society.

Download still images from the Love is GREAT campaign on the VisitBritain Images website

The UK government will participate in a total of 29 LGBTQ+ events and activities in 14 cities across the US and the Americas in 2019-20, including:

  • Aspen, CO
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington, DC
  • In Canada, the UK will participate in 5 cities: Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
  • In Latin America, the UK will participate in 5 cities: Mexico City, Santiago, São Paolo, Fernando de Naronha and Porto Alegre.
Published 11 June 2019