Faith and civic leaders will come together with Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ community and its allies on Saturday 14th May for a community celebration and LGBT+ affirming service to show that Liverpool Loves You.
Delivered in partnership by Liverpool Parish Church, LCR Pride Foundation, Homotopia, Michael Causer Foundation, Open Table Network, YPAS Liverpool, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool City Council, the free Liverpool Loves You event will take place the weekend before the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB)*, celebrating the Liverpool City Region as a safe, friendly and welcoming place for LGBT+ people of all faiths and none.
Mayor Joanne Anderson will open the event at 2pm by raising the new Progress Pride flag, which incorporates colours and symbols representative of the Trans and Intersex communities, marginalised people of colour, those living with HIV/AIDS and those who have been lost.
After brief speeches from Mayor Anderson, faith leaders, local LGBT+ organisations and dignitaries from across the region, there will be an afternoon of food, drink, entertainment and fun, followed by an LGBT+ affirming service (6pm) where Liverpool Christians will promote hope and solidarity for LGBT+ equality. The day will close at 7pm with a vigil against hate crime.
Throughout the day there will be uplifting performances from local artists, including Liverpool’s Rainbow Chorus, ‘Liverpool Loves You’ themed flower displays led by Michael Causer Foundation and activities for young people, with further detail to be revealed in coming weeks. People of all faiths and none are welcome to attend any part of the day’s celebrations.
The Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, Rector of Liverpool, said: “This celebratory event tells us something about Liverpool, and something about the Christian Church within Liverpool. This is an inclusive and affirming place where everyone is welcome, and I’m delighted that we can use Liverpool Parish Church to promote this message to those within our city and also to the thousands who visit Liverpool every week.”
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle said: “I’m delighted to be part of this event and it once again gives us the opportunity to spread the message far and wide that homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no place in Liverpool.
“Events like this allow us to celebrate the community and emphasise the importance of acceptance – we’re a city that proudly stands up to injustice of any kind and hate and prejudice will not be tolerated.”
For more information about the event, visit www.liverpoollovesyou.lgbt
* International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia takes place annually on 17th May – https://may17.org/
Kieran Bohan, Coordinator of the Open Table Network, which began in Liverpool in 2008, said: “We are a network of mutually supportive communities where faith and LGBT+ identities can be explored and celebrated in safe, non-judgmental spaces. We love that Liverpool has been our home for 14 years, and we’re delighted to celebrate with our partners in the city its welcome, inclusion and affirmation of our diversity.”
Andi Herring, CEO and Co-founder of LCR Pride Foundation, said: “We are incredibly proud to be part of a network in the Liverpool City Region that celebrates, champions and strives for diversity, love and the inclusion of all LGBT+ identities. Each year International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) in May marks the start of a period of celebration and protest for the city region’s LGBT+ community and its allies, with Pride month in June and our March with Pride and Pride in Liverpool in July. The Liverpool Loves You event is a fantastic start to these celebrations.”
Bill Addy, CEO of Liverpool BID Company, said: “Liverpool is a place of community and this event is designed to show our strength and inclusivity. It is the responsibility of our whole city to make our LGBTQ+ community feel valued, safe, loved and celebrated. I am delighted that Liverpool BID is part of it.”
Dr Emma Howarth, Director of Operations at Mission in the Economy (MitE), said: “Liverpool is well known for being inclusive, friendly and welcoming to everyone, it is truly the gateway to the world. This event is a fantastic celebration of fantastic people and communities who live and work here together and MitE Chaplaincy are really pleased to be a part of it.”
Chris Porter, Wellbeing Team Lead (LGBTQ+) at Young Person’s Advisory Service said: “As a service that supports many LGBTQ+ children and young people and understands their needs, it is important to us that we are demonstrating that Liverpool is a welcoming home for LGBTQ+ children and young people of all faiths and none. We must show the world that our community and city are inclusive, intersectional and outward looking.”
Rian Bailey-Weir, Trustee of The Michael Causer Foundation, said: “There is absolutely no room for hate in our city, from far afield or otherwise. Our foundation was set up in response to an extreme case of homophobia, and it’s disappointing to see that there are still organisations and individuals that promote this attitude.
“Through working with other LGBTQI+ and supporting organisations across the Liverpool City Region, we are making a stand to say that hate is not welcome here. Seeing our friends and partners collaborate on the ‘Liverpool Loves You’ campaign in a non-aggressive stance just shows what we can do when we band together in unity.”