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Leeds lights up in rainbow colours for LGBT+ History Month

Leeds Civic Hall by night - credit Andy Tryner

 

A number of prominent city centre buildings will create a rainbow trail of light across the city when they are lit up tonight (1st February) to mark the start of LGBT+ History Month.

Leeds has a vibrant LGBT+ community and numerous events have been organised across the city to showcase the fantastic contribution people from the LGBT+ community make to the city. Along with key buildings being lit up in rainbow colours, Leeds Town Hall and Civic Hall will be flying rainbow flags on 1 February and 28 February 2018 to mark the start and end of the celebrations.

This is the fourth year Leeds City Council has celebrated LGBT History Month which takes place throughout the month of February.

On the first and last days of February, a ‘trail’ of city centre buildings will be lit up in rainbow colours, which are Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Civic Hall, the O2 academy, the St John’s Centre, The Queens Hotel, first direct Arena, Leeds Beckett University, The Light, and The University of Leeds

LGBT+ History Month 2018’s packed schedule aims to educate out prejudice through events including: The Leeds Queer Film Fest at Hyde Park Picturehouse; LGBT+ only sports activities including running, badminton and martial arts; LGBT+ history talks, an art exhibition at Leeds Art University and a drag queen storytime at Leeds Children’s Library, as well as numerous social events to meet people within the LGBT+ community and beyond.

The Leeds Branch of the National Education Union is also running a writing competition for young people aged 11-16 with the aims of celebrating Leeds’ diverse community and combatting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools. For the full information pack including an entry form, people should email: office@leedsnut.com

Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and LGBT+ champion said:

“We are very proud of Leeds’ long and strong LGBT+ history and I would encourage everyone in the city to celebrate our LGBT+ community and enjoy the wide range of events and activities lined up during February.

“LGBT History Month reminds us that everyone has the right to fulfil their ambitions, achieve their potential, be happy and feel loved. It’s a time for LGBT+ people to reflect and be proud of our ancestors and contemporaries who are role-models and always part of our community.”

LGBT History Month starts with the fantastic news that Leeds City Council has again been recognised as an inclusive employer by LGBT+ charity Stonewall. The council has even moved up the rankings into the top 50 employers and is the fourth highest local authority.

Cllr Lewis added:

“We are extremely proud and pleased of our achievement in making Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers, and the progress we have made over the past year. We will continue to innovate and improve to ensure we remain at the forefront of LGBT inclusivity for both our staff and the people of Leeds.”

People can collect a copy of the LGBT+ History Month programme from Leeds City Council leisure centres, libraries and community hubs and other council buildings, as well as participating venues and venues in the Freedom Quarter itself. Further information about the events can be found at leedsinspired.co.uk.

People getting involved in the celebrations are being encouraged to Tweet @LeedsCC_LGBT and use the hashtag #LeedsLGBTHistory to share photographs and take part in the conversations across the city during February.

For further information and enquiries people can email: lgbthistorymonth@leeds.gov.uk

 

The iconic LGBT+ rainbow flag