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Liverpool gay quarter

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Liverpool's Gay Quarter (sometimes Liverpool gay village) encompasses Stanley Street, Cumberland Street, Victoria St and Eberle St, and is where the bulk of the gay bars and clubs are located in Liverpool, in North West England. Stanley St is the main hub of the Gay Quarter and is where most of the bars are found.

In June 2008, Liverpool City Council launched a Public consultation on the partial pedestrianisation of the Gay Quarter, with a view to enhancing the night time leisure experience of the area.[1] The council proposes to ban traffic in Stanley Street, Cumberland Street and Eberle Street after 6pm with the use of automatic hydraulic bollards at strategic locations. Should there be a successful outcome of the consultation, the partial pedestrianisation would be in place later in 2008.[citation needed]

VisitBritain, Britain's national tourism agency, acknowledges Liverpool as one of Britain's most notable gay cities, and recognises the growing investment in the Gay Quarter.[2] Liverpool City Council hopes that further investment in the area, including partial pedestrianisation will further promote Liverpool as a gay destination.[3]

Gay Culture in Liverpool Edit

Liverpool is one of the few major UK cities without an annual Gay pride festival. However, every year in November, the city hosts 'Homotopia', a two-week festival of gay culture including theatre, film, photography, and art. Launched in 2004,[4] and supported by the Arts Council England, the celebration has now become a highlight of Liverpool's cultural calendar. The festival is directed by Gary Everett, an esteemed member of the local gay community, who has also been involved in the running of several of Liverpool's gay nightclubs. In contrast to a traditional 'Pride' festival, Homotopia is a forum to showcase LGBT talent in the field of arts, photography, performance etc., and is designed to bring together creative individuals irrespective of sexuality. Shows and events take place in theatres and galleries around Liverpool, and tend to be separate from the traditional gay scene. The opening and closing ceremonies do, however, often involve some form of club night.

Homotopia has been attended by numerous high profile figures from international gay society, including Peter Tatchell,[5] Holly Johnson, Armistead Maupin,[6] and Amy Lame. Homotopia also represents the gay community with its own float in Liverpool's annual Lord Mayor's Parade, along with other communities in the city.[7] Many feel that the Homotopia festival as a whole makes up for the lack of a Gay Pride.

'Our Story Liverpool', one of the projects associated with Homotopia, has also provided an opportunity to celebrate, record and archive the history and heritage of LGBT Liverpool, through the sharing of stories and experiences from members of the community. Before the project, much of the history had either been forgotten or ignored.[8]

File:Homotopia float.jpg

Liverpool also has its own LGBT Film Festival: 'Outsiders', directed by Matthew Fox, which brings the latest in gay film to the city. Since its inception in 2004, audience figures have grown considerably,[9] and some experts say it is fast becoming one of the UK's leading gay film festivals, continuing to bring gay film premieres to Liverpool.

In 2008, 'Liverpool's LGBT Network' was established, with the aim of bringing together local LGBT individuals and organisations to give them a stronger community voice. It is hoped the venture will enable the gay community to be more visible, inclusive and have a greater role in local decision making.

The city also has an active 'Gay Village Business Association', co-chaired by Liberal Councillor Steve Radford. The association is an informal partnership between Liverpool's gay businesses, particularly the bars and clubs.

'Mersey Marauders', Liverpool's successful gay football team, partakes in national football tournaments and is a member of the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN). Liverpool hosted the 2008 national GFSN conference and welcomed gay football teams from across the UK and Ireland.

An exhibition called Hello, sailor! began at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool's Albert Dock, in 2007. The exhibition, in conjunction with Homotopia and National Museums Liverpool, looks at the experience of gay seafarers on passenger and merchant Ships from the 1950-1980s. Through video, photos and personal stories, visitors can gain an insight into the hidden history of gay life at sea.[10] The exhibition runs until 2009 and is one of the few examples where this history is being celebrated in a major British museum.

Liverpool also competes against other UK cities in the annual Mr Gay UK beauty competition, with the representative from the city participating in the national final. The winner of Mr Gay Europe 2007, Jackson Netto, was a student at Liverpool University, however, he represented Germany and not the UK.[11]

Notable LGBT people from Liverpool and Merseyside Edit

ReferencesEdit

External links Edit


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