Pride in Liverpool will feature a dedicated ‘safe space’ for young people aged under 25 and their families for the very first time in 2019, with the addition of a Youth Zone, delivered in partnership with Young Persons Advisory Service (YPAS), to its festival site.
The Youth Zone, which is sponsored by The Michael Causer Foundation, be located in the square between Vernon Street and Cunliffe Street, a short distance from the Barclays Stage area on Tithebarn Street. It will be open from 12noon – 6pm. The area will be alcohol-free and will offer a free BBQ and refreshments, provided by Bay Tree Catering, throughout the day.
There will be a chill-out area, supported by The Proud Trust, where young visitors can relax, play board games and enjoy arts and craft activities such as badge-making, as well as an acoustic stage where young performers can put their name down to perform. Some equipment will be provided but musicians should bring their own instruments.
Trans activist Charlie Craggs will also be in the Youth Zone with her Nail Transphobia pop-up nail bar, where visitors can get their nails done, while chatting to a trans person. The pop up has been facilitated by the city’s Walker Art Gallery, who will also be in attendance. Free glitter tattoos will also be provided by YPAS and Mermaids, a charity which helps young people who feel at odds with the gender they were assigned at birth, as well as supporting their families.
As well as entertainment on the Barclays Stage, headlined this year by Little Boots and Saara Aalto, and the LIMF Academy-programmed Showcase Stage, there will be a Community Expo in Exchange Station, featuring stands from organisations that provide support to the LGBT+ community. Exhibitors include Armistead, Rainbow Fostering, Sahir House, Open Table and Citizens Advice Liverpool.
Speaking about the new Youth Zone, LCR Pride Foundation Co-Founder, Andi Herring, said:
“Coming to a Pride festival can be quite overwhelming for many young people and as an organisation we felt it was incredibly important to provide young people – many of who may be attending Pride for the first time – with a safe space.
“By partnering with YPAS and working closely with The Hive Youth Zone, The Proud Trust, Mermaids and New Beginnings Sefton, we have been able to deliver this. We are honoured to be working with these fantastic organisations, which provide support to young LGBT+ people across the Liverpool City Region throughout the year.
“Our Youth Zone supports our mission to make the Liverpool City Region the most inclusive and LGBT+ friendly region in the UK, ensuring that everyone can feel comfortable and safe during our Pride in Liverpool celebrations.”
Chris Porter from YPAS said:
“YPAS and it’s LGBTQ+ team are delighted that LCR Pride Foundation has been able to take on the feedback of LGBTQ+ youth to include them in Pride in Liverpool celebrations, while maintaining a safe space for them.
“A lot of these young people will be experiencing their first Pride festival and we want it to be a positive, memorable experience that makes them feel part of their wider community. The special thing about this year is that there is a lot of collaboration with other LGBTQ+ youth providers across the North West and Merseyside as well as wider community partners.
“Inclusivity and collaboration make for a supportive community and that is what we need. These LGBTQ+ young people are the activists and leaders of our future so we best be nurturing them now!”