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Throughout June – and beyond – members of the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters will celebrate their identities and their achievements, and reflect on the struggle for equality.
And these Liverpool venues and organisations are well and truly flying the rainbow-coloured flag…
Sonic Yootha has been running for seven years as a club night for “homos, fauxmos, gender-blenders, full-time queers and part-time Brendas”, and it’s long been hailed by many as the event that saved Liverpool’s gay scene. To celebrate its 7th birthday, it’s hosting a God Save The Queen anniversary party at 24 Kitchen Street on Saturday, June 25. Doors open at 9pm and entry is £10 (cash only) on the door.
With the aim of making Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK, it highlights the daily barriers LGBT+ people living in and visiting the region face, and works to create an inclusive culture. Its theme this year is ‘Come Together’, chosen to represent the return to in-person events, and the need to come together as one united community.
The charity’s flagship event, Pride in Liverpool, will take place on Saturday, July 30, the same day as the annual March with Pride; and it is supporting other events, St Helens Pride on July 2 and, on August 27, Pride at the Seaside, a new event in New Brighton.
Founded in 2004, Homotopia is a Liverpool based arts and social justice organisation making a cultural impact through art and activism – and each year it presents the UK’s longest-running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival. Every October/November the Homotopia Festival features LGBTQIA art across multiple venues and outdoor spaces in the city, and it has a year-round programme of artist development, public artworks, and events.
Sahir House is a non-profit organisation in Dale Street which has been offering HIV support, prevention, information and training across Merseyside since 1985. Its goals are to increase HIV and sexual health knowledge, reduce stigma, and campaign for the rights of those living with HIV and related intersectionalities.
The LGBTQ+ Business Awards were founded last year by Owen Drew fragrance entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den winner, Drew Cockton, who wanted to recognise the contribution the LGBTQ+ community makes to the regional economy, across businesses in Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire. When he launched them, Drew said: “The LGBTQ+ community contributes enormously to the GDP of the UK thanks to the creativity, ingenuity, and resilience of its members.” This year’s finalists are due to be announced on June 16, and the awards evening will be held in October.
The team at Kitty’s in Tithebarn Street works relentlessly to raise awareness of the needs of everybody in the LGBT+ community and beyond. With an Everyone Is Welcome policy it offers live comedy and cabaret, and it also hosts a free pensioner’s lunch – it had a Pensioners’ Jubilee Party last week – a Trans Disco, and raises tons for charity.
Mersey Marauders FC has been going for 17 years, offering LGBT+ men within Liverpool and surrounding areas the chance to play football in a supportive and inclusive environment. It also works with local and national initiatives to get rid of homophobia in sport and supports the LGBT+ community, working alongside charities and community programmes.
One of the best bars in the heart of Liverpool’s LGBT Quarter, it’s home to resident DJs Andy Mc, Styliexo, Robbie Edwards, Carl Williams, Mark Armstrong and Lee Hardy. The Stanley Street bar was refurbished in 2015 and is well known for its drag, gay and friendly crowds and great music.
National Museums Liverpool has launched NML Xtra, a series of events taking over its venues and spaces outside daytime opening hours. In its first NML Xtra event on Saturday, July 2, Homotopia’s Queer the City project will take over the Museum of Liverpool for the evening, showcasing some of the region’s most exciting LGBTQ+ artists.
Cocktails and queens! You’re guaranteed plenty of laughs and wild antics from ‘our Queens’ when the FunnyBoyz take over the Temple Court bar every Saturday afternoon. The three-hour Drag Afternoon Show starts at 3pm and, for three hours, you get quizzes, games, party music and the ultimate dance-off.
The Merseyside Police LGBTQ+ Network works to create a police service that reflects all of our diverse communities, as well as promoting inclusiveness and equality of opportunity for all LGBT+ officers within the force. Made up of people from across the organisation it was started in 2001, offering networking opportunities, confidential support, and an inclusive workplace ‘where we can all be our true selves’.
The Lisbon is an iconic pub in the city. A landmark building since 1888, the bar is not only one of the city’s oldest watering holes, it’s regarded as one of Liverpool’s first gay bars. And if the Grade II listed Victorian building in Victoria Street doesn’t take your breath away with its fabulously ornate features, the great welcome and stunning party vibe will.
Set up by Marie and Mike Causer, and Merseyside’s LGBT community, after trainee hairdresser Michael died following a brutal attack as he slept at a house party in Liverpool in 2008, its aim is to provide education, motivation and accommodation for young LGBT people. Marie said: “We loved Michael for being the person that he was, but we know other young LGBT people don’t always have that.” Working alongside housing, police, education, charities and others, the Foundation supports young LGBT people in Merseyside, and challenges injustice and prejudice.
The House of Suarez Vogue Ball is inspired by the legendary balls held in New York City from the 1970s, which provided a platform for young Black and Latinx LBGTQ+ people to showcase their flamboyant and competitive personalities. The Vogue Ball brings people from all walks of life together to appreciate, learn and enjoy dancing and arts of all kinds in a safe space together. It provides people with a community that they can be a part of, helping all people, but particularly the LGBT+ community to belong.
With drag shows and performances every night, Superstar Boudoir is one of Liverpool’s best cabaret bars, and one of its best know and best-loved gay bars. It’s also home to Boudoir’s Big Gay Saturday which is one of the gayest parties in the city – think drag queens, feel-good music, and ‘camptastic’ fun.
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