Birmingham’s new Lord Mayor backs LGBT rights at Birmingham Pride
The new Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Carl Rice, joined revellers at Birmingham Pride over the Bank Holiday weekend, where he took time out to support working rights for LGBT people, and even revealed singer Bryan Ferry may have been one of his secret teen crushes.
Attending the city’s special twentieth anniversary gay pride celebrations, the city’s 107th Lord Mayor was joined by the Lady Maroyess Deed Rice and Pride event director Lawrence Barton as he met with attendees, community police officers, volunteers and representatives from charity Stonewall, who campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality.
Visiting the Stonewall stand at the festival, the city’s First Citizen fully supported their current ‘By Your Side‘ campaign, which calls on greater acceptance of LGBT+ people in the working environment.
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) May 29, 2016
Speaking about attending the event, one of the first on his calendar as Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Rice told I Am Birmingham:
“The reason I’m here at Birmingham Pride today is because I know the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, which makes such an impressive event so fantastic. I want to shine a light on all of the volunteers and all of the work that goes on that makes things like this happen. I’m very happy that his is one of the first events I’ve been doing as this is my first week.
“I represent the city centre, have done since I was elected back in ’87, and I know how important the gay community is for Birmingham, and how an event like Pride celebrates the gay community in this city. I was talking to people from all over the Midlands, and much wider, and a couple of guys from London said this was their first time at Birmingham Pride and it was much more welcoming and a happier place than London Pride, so that says a lot about this city and its people.”
Asked about his secret crush, he went on to reveal that although he had a bit of a teen fan-crush on English singer Bryan Ferry, his wife was his true life-long love.
“I was a big fan of Bryan Ferry when I was growing up, not saying that I had a crush on him [laughs]. I love the Lady Mayoress. I met her when I was very young. She wasn’t my first love but she’s everlasting, and if you met her, you’d know why.”
Carl Rice, a popular back bencher and keen hill walker, was selected to be the city’s next Lord Mayor by Birmingham’s Labour councillors and took over the role from Lib Dem councillor Ray Hassall earlier this month.
The 59-year-old is a former chairman of the council’s leisure services committee and has represented Ladywood since 1987.
Carl has been interested in politics and social action from a very young age, having attended Anti-Vietnam war and CND rallies with his parents as a child. His father, who was a lifelong Communist, left Carl with a healthy scepticism for mainstream political parties but in 1981 Carl took the plunge and joined the Labour Party, which at the time was languishing third in the opinion polls.
— David Warren (@DavePics) May 26, 2016
During his year as Lord Mayor, Councillor Rice hopes to highlight the work of the voluntary sector in Birmingham and wants to celebrate the role of women in making Birmingham a great City. Carl is excited about launching the new look Lord Mayor’s Charity which seeks to create a source of funding for local voluntary agencies and community groups.
You can follow the new Lord Mayor of Birmingham on Twitter @BrumLordMayor.