Meet The Activist: Lewis Jennings from Loud and Proud in Liverpool

Loud and Proud in Liverpool podcast aims to bring the conversation of being LGBT+ to the forefront. We speak to its founder, Lewis Jennings about his “love letter” to the city region’s LGBT+ community and how it aims to support and provide a platform for its diverse voices.

For people who might not have listened in yet, can you tell us a bit about Loud and Proud in Liverpool?

“The podcast shares and celebrates the experiences and work of queer people in Merseyside. Whether it’s coming out stories or talking about subjects that don’t get enough attention, we hear from LGBTQ+ people and allies who are making a difference.

“Through the podcast, I aim to elevate queer voices in the city region and beyond. We are some of the most marginalised voices in the UK so I wanted to make sure those voices are being heard and celebrated — especially in Liverpool, where there’s such a massive community.”

So what happens in each episode?

“I do this through three segments. First, The Dialogue, which focuses on topics that we should be talking about more in the mainstream. Secondly, Confessions from the Closet, a segment in which guests share their coming out stories to inspire anyone who is thinking of coming out – or maybe, for people who are out and proud, it can be nice to hear and relate to. And lastly, Queeroes, which celebrates queer people and allies who are doing boss stuff in the city for the LGBTQ+ community.”

What inspired you to start the podcast?

 “For so long, when I was closeted, I resented my queer identity and, admittedly, was ashamed to be gay – terrified, in fact. But after seeing the light, and coming out, I’ve embraced my true authentic self and couldn’t be happier. I see the podcast as a way of giving back to the LGBTQ+ community, kind of like a love letter but also a massive thank you. 

“If it wasn’t for seeing other out and proud queer people, I’d probably still be closeted and hating myself. It’s heart-breaking to think of young queer people growing up now who are closeted and scared of embracing their queer identities. I want this podcast to show that you can be loud and proud about being LGBTQ+. I also want to show that you don’t have to fit a certain mould to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Whoever you are, our community will always accept you.”

What are you working on at the moment and how does this support your aims?

“I’ve just finished episode eight (which you can listen to here) and that features three brilliant guests, including Jonathan Larkin, Ejel Khan and Femi McCalla. Writer Jonathan Larkin talks about his new play Cherry Jezebel, which is inspired by Liverpool’s drag community. Ejel Khan, one of the founders of the Muslim LGBT Network, talks about his activism and the struggles that queer Muslims face. And finally Femi McCalla talks about her new podcast All Things Femi-ism, as well as period shaming and taboo around sexuality.

This week, I’m going to be interviewing LCR Pride Foundation CEO, Andi Herring, about this year’s theme, for a future episode.

Aside from tuning in, how can people get involved?

“I’m always looking for guests to share their experiences, or who want to talk about something close to their hearts. We can be found at @loudandproudin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – our DMs are always open! Or you can email

Did you consciously decide to become an activist, or did you just find yourself as one?

“I guess I just found myself as an activist! I think every queer person is an activist, in a way, just simply by existing. There are people in this city – and the world – who are incensed by our existence. Until the day comes where we can honestly say that homophobia and transphobia aren’t a thing, then we must continue to be loud and proud. And we can do that in many ways, through being creative, supporting LGBTQ+ independents, or even by dressing the way we want. That is a form of protest in itself. We are queer, we are here and we aren’t going anywhere.”

When did you realise that you were an activist?

“There was never really a day when I realised. Maybe when I came out and began to embrace my queer identity. Or maybe the day I kissed a guy in a bar and was told, ‘I don’t agree with that,’ by some homophobe. He got a proper earache off me and left the bar as a result. I’ll never fathom the audacity of straight cis men.”

What does being an activist mean to you?

“Being an activist is standing up for yourself and those in your community, or other people and communities that are treated unfairly. It’s about being a voice for the unheard. It’s also about listening to others and learning how to be a better ally. Activism is about wanting change and being an activist is bringing that change.”

What can people do to bring activism into their everyday lives?

“If you want to bring change to society, you are already an activist. Just act on that and commit to making change, even if it’s through small actions. Learn about the causes and listen to other perspectives. Find like-minded people or groups that support the causes that you do. Tell all your family and friends and try and get them involved too.”

Do you have any tips for budding activists?

“Always sign and share petitions that mean something to you, or that are important for others. And always vote! Also, call out discrimination when you see it. In the workplace, in the club, in the supermarket. Wherever you see it happening, call it out. Whatever you do, just always make sure you are safe!”

Can you share any useful resources or places to get involved?

News from Nowhere on Bold Street is a boss bookshop that is an endless resource of information on social injustices. Also visit libraries, loads of resources there to learn about our history etc. Writing on the Wall is a brilliant organisation that encourages creativity and diversity in Liverpool. For young queer people, GYRO Liverpool is the UK’s longest-running LGBTQ+ youth group, so definitely check them out if you haven’t already.”

Our theme this year “From Now On” is activism focused. As an activist, what do you pledge to change “from now on?” 

“From now on I pledge to uplift more and more queer voices. If I could, I’d have every queer person in Merseyside (who would be willing to) come on Loud and Proud in Liverpool to talk about their experiences. I will continue to work with queer people and showcase to the rest of the city how brilliant the LGBTQ+ community is.”

You can listen to all Loud and Proud in Liverpool episodes here:


Related Posts

LCR Pride Foundation is a registered charity in England & Wales, no 1185167. Registered Company 11754074.