Organisers of Sheffield’s annual gay Pride event are being urged to be more child-friendly after a group was thrown out because two youngsters were with them.
Gail Fletcher, who attends the celebration each year, said she was with a group of 10 people, including two children aged eight and 12.
She said: “We were made aware the area on Devonshire Green was for over 16s, but were told there were plenty of other events taking place around the city centre.
“In fact, there was only one small area in Barker’s Pool. We went up to Devonshire Green and asked if we could go in and were allowed through.
“Then half an hour later we were asked to leave and escorted out like criminals.”
Gail – who used to live in Gleadless but now lives in Shropshire – had travelled to Sheffield for the occasion and said other members of her group had come from Glasgow and London.
Sheffield Pride said the 16s-and-over restriction was due to licensing conditions.
But Gail said: “We all paid £8 each for a ticket and queued for three quarters of an hour. It was the middle of the afternoon and children are allowed in pubs. They also get into Tramlines which is held in the same area.
“The wrong message is being sent to our children at a time when we are trying to fight for gay rights. Being gay, we ask for inclusion and this makes a mockery of the word.
“We come every year, but based on our experiences, we won’t be coming again.
“The festival should be made more child-friendly.”
Gail said the two children in her group were her partner’s son, aged eight, and another friend’s daughter, 12.
A spokesman for Sheffield Pride said: “Ms Fletcher was aware of the age restrictions regarding Devonshire Green when booking the tickets.
“We had a minimum age of 16 due to licensing conditions, or we would not have been able to use Devonshire Green.”
Pride attracted crowds of about 5,000 people who enjoyed a parade between Barker’s Pool and Devonshire Green, followed by live entertainment and music until 4am.