Wigan Pride 2016 officially launched on Tuesday 17th May at Leigh Town Hall, which was also the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), which celebrates the journey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people.
The winner of the competition to design the festival’s emblem was also announced at the special event and it was Rebecca Bryan from St. John Rigby who won the competition, which all local schools and colleges were invited to get involved in.
The emblem will be used on all the publicity in the run up to the festival, which will be held in Wigan town centre on Saturday the 13th of August.
She said: “It’s a great feeling to give back to the LGBTQ community after supporting my friends through their journey. It’s pretty surreal to see my design everywhere, I didn’t expect to win and it’s great to see it all here.”
The inspiration for her design was our boroughs heritage and links to Northern Soul and Wigan Casino.
There will be entertainment all day including comedians, musicians and local bands, including Leigh’s very own The Lottery Winners, as the headliners.
BYOU (a youth action group for young LGBTQ people in Wigan and Leigh) and BYOU+ (an adult steering, support and engagement group for LGBTQ people in Wigan and Leigh) who make up part of the Pride committee have borough wide support from various partners, sponsors across the borough including; Wigan and Leigh housing, 5 boroughs, Wigan Borough CCG, The Old Courts, Tesco Express Community Champions, Public Health, Brook, Age UK, The LGBT Foundation, Health Watch, Greater Manchester Police and representatives from the Labour Party, the Conservative party and The Green Party.
All partners have worked collaboratively to ensure we celebrate the journey the LGBTQ community has taken to reach unity in the borough and support the cause.
Pride is valuable for the community as the journey for equality is still on going and the Pride festival will be the first ever in Wigan Borough.
Additionally, there are sponsor packages for any other local businesses and organisations that would like to get involved and show support.
Councillor Jo Platt, portfolio holder for children and young people at Wigan Council, shows hers: “I am so proud of our young people who have come forward and used their voice to engage with the authority and a wide range of partners to hold Wigan’s very first event to celebrate LGBTQ culture and Pride! The support from partner organisations and the community has been tremendous and can only see this event going from strength to strength!”
Jess Eastoe, co founder of BYOU+ said: “The collaborative work shown by all the partners and the young people involved has demonstrated a clear necessity to respect and encourage equality and diversity. The young people involved have worked extremely hard, with adults to ensure every detail for the event is inclusive and supportive across the borough. It’s wonderful that so many schools have participated in the school competitions, and thank you to everyone involved.”
Sgt. Sharon Jackson, PC Bev Mather and Amanda Crane, community safety partnership all said: “We are very proud to support Wigan Pride 2016. It’s inspiring to see what the members of BYOU and BYOU+ have achieved, and we wish them every success with this and future Pride events”.
Ian Dyer, LGBT foundation: “It’s great to see a new Pride coming into existence. It’s great to see community like Wigan creating their very own Wigan Pride. Here at the LGBT foundation we wish them the best of luck and hope it is the first of many”
Ms Eloise, Age UK : “I’m really looking forward to singing at a wonderful event that will bring Pride for everyone, regardless of gender or identity, to the borough. I’m really proud of the young people who are brave enough to take this opportunity on and start it all off.”
Mayor of Wigan Borough, Councillor Susan Loudon also gave her support by saying: “I’m really happy that the borough is celebrating equality and diversity with its first ever Pride event, this year. It is a great inspiration that the young people steering the event are engaging with adults to create what they think will be as inclusive and proactive for the community as possible.”