With the return of summer and the warm weather we’ve been longing for, the time to celebrate everyones favourite month also returns – Pride Month! LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebrates and recognises those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. Pride is known as an acronym for ‘Personal Rights in Defence and Education’ and acknowledges the years of history behind the LGBTQ+ community.
Amongst the key events and information we learnt back in education, the history of protests and violence against the LGBTQ+ community were never addressed or explained. Pride month is expected to be filled with lots of activism for equal rights and challenged opinions of homophobia and transphobia. Pride month is typically celebrated with lots of marches and parades in major cities across the world, and now that coronavirus restrictions are easing, you can celebrate in style surrounded by the people who support you.
June was the chosen month for Pride after the Stonewall riots in 1969, which became a symbol of social and political discrimination for the gay community. Now in our modern-day 21st Century, more independent cafes, bars and clubs are evolving their brand values and becoming LGBTQ+ inclusive. Even events are being curated to empower and acknowledge the community further.
After only opening in 2018, Flamingo’s has recognised themselves as being Leeds’ only late night LGBTQ+ friendly coffee house, open seven days a week. Situated in Central Arcade in the city centre, Flamingo’s support the LGBTQ+ community by alternating their choice of charity every 4 weeks and donating money from the sales of their Rainbow Cake slice, as well as from the events they hold in store.
Multi-use venue and bar located behind Leeds Corn Exchange aim to create an affordable and inclusive space from all communities across Leeds through the arts of music, film and discussions. As well as holding music related events, on July 2nd BACK2BLACK, an inclusive club night for Black Queer people will be hosted. 9th of July will also see a ‘Drag and Bass’ taking over Wharf Chambers. In order to attend Wharf Chambers, you must be a member or a guest of a member, and signing up to their membership couldn’t be easier through their website, costing only £1.
LGBT+ Dog Walking Group
Join this LGBTQ+ inclusive dog walking club that regularly meet at 5 different locations in Leeds on alternate weeks. These locations include Roundhay Park, Kirkstall Abbey, Golden Acre Park, Eccup Reservoir and Meanwood Valley Trail. Their next walk takes place on the 5th of June at Roundhay Park, meeting at The Lakeside Cafe at 8.45am. All sexualities and genders are welcome on their walks!
CLAY aka Centre for Live Art Yorkshire house up to 12 artists and companies with their own studio space to bring their art and collaborations to life. CLAY supports risks and experimentation, as well as being an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community through their promotion of queer events and projects.
It’s almost impossible to celebrate Pride in Leeds without taking a visit to Queens Court in Lower Briggate. The LGBTQ+ style bar and night-club has become an iconic spot for the community in Leeds, serving them for more than 20 years. Stop off in their friendly, inclusive bar on your day trip to Leeds and drink to honour the community!
LGBT+ Virtual Literature Fest 2021
Being held virtually from the 5th-11th of July, the LGBT+ literature festival is expected to include discussions from a diverse range of authors, performers and poets. This week long event will celebrate the wonderful people of the community and bring them together through the art of literature.
The New Penny
The oldest gay bar, The New Penny, is situated on Call Lane in the city centre. Relax with a drink in hand and watch the various drag queens take over every night of the week. If you’re always up for some loud, lively entertainment then this is the place for you.
Pride month can be, and should be celebrated anywhere at anytime. But why not make the most of the warm weather and support these inclusive businesses throughout June (as well as the rest of the year).
Images: Leeds Pride, Leeds Pride Freedom Bridge, Queen’s Court, The New Penny