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Kiss In held in Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 08:28 18 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:35 01 July 2010

Mary Hamilton

Norwich couples kissed in the street as part of an international celebration yesterday.

Norwich couples kissed in the street as part of an international celebration yesterday.

The Norwich Pride collective organised a Kiss In to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The event was supported across the world, with European leaders issuing statements confirming their commitment to end prejudice.

Norwich organiser Kitty Stokes said: “It is still really difficult for a lot of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people to kiss in the streets even in this country, and it's incredibly important to show that the streets are safe for everyone.

“Even in Norwich we have had people dropping out at the last minute, in some cases because they were worried about what the reactions might be.

“But it's been very positive and we have been able to raise awareness about the wider issues of discrimination and the abuse and oppression people face in some parts of the world, as well as having a bit of fun.”

This year's IDAHO day marked the 20th anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from their list of mental disorders.

Community filmmaker and Pride chair Michelle Savage said: “When I realised it had only been 20 years I was really shocked.

“When I came out 22 years ago according to the official list I would have had a mental disorder.

“For people who were facing rejection from their families that must have been an incredibly damaging thing to have to deal with.

“We have come a long way - but for a lot of us there's still a long way to go.”

For more information visit www.norwichpride.org.uk or search for Norwich Pride on Facebook.

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