While Pride has been recognised throughout the month of June, today is a particularly significant occasion for the LGBTQ+ movement as it marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in the US which led to the gay liberation movement and the twentieth century fight for LGBT rights in America.
Showing its support to the day, the council – which has today launched a LGBTQI+ Staff Forum as a way of bringing colleagues together to discuss their experiences at work – has acquired a new Progress Pride Flag which has been put up above St Helens Town Hall. While national award-winning Hip Hop organisation, UC Crew, have been commissioned to install Pride graffiti artwork in Sherdley Park.
Elsewhere, St Helens Borough Council Library Service – as part of its award-winning Cultural Hubs programme – launched a virtual family-friendly event on Saturday, inviting residents to join some of the UK’s leading drag artists as they bring their favourite inclusive stories, songs, games – and plenty of glitter – straight to your home.
Fantabulosa! – which runs up until Thursday 15 July – is a celebration of difference, diversity and acceptance, wrapped up in original music, dance and family-friendly fun.
A free-to-download activity pack containing drawing and colouring challenges, puzzles and recommended literature is also available as part of the event.
Meanwhile, to help preserve stories for future generations, St Helens Archive Service is calling on members of the LGBTQ+ community to upload photos and memories directly to St Helens Community Archive – and contribute to a St Helens Oral History Project – a range of interviews range to reflect the many communities that call St Helens Borough home.
The Steve Prescott Bridge will also be lit in the rainbow colours this evening.
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger, Communities who was among those to take part in a virtual ‘join hands be proud’ campaign on the council’s social media channels, said:
“I am really sad that we’re still unable to put on organised crowd event but even a pandemic won’t stop the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
“Pride month is a celebration but it’s also a time to remember the fight for equality that LGBTQ+ people have gone through, past and present.
“In our borough, our community won’t tolerate hateful behaviour, homophobia, transphobia and bigoted ideals. That’s why we stand united in the spirit of St Helens Together to say that love is love and St Helens is no place for hate.”
To book your exclusive FREE link to view Fantabulosa! visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fantabulosa-digital-drag-show-tickets-158735446995?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
If you are interested in getting involved with the Archive, or have any questions, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01744 671748. No commitment is required to express interest.
Support is available for young people in St Helens Borough aged 13-25 who identify as LGBTQ+ through Over the Rainbow – a closed, confidential youth group which offers a range of information, advice and guidance.
To access Over The Rainbow call 01744 457 243 or email email@example.com