Raise that rainbow flag high – here’s how you can get involved with this summer’s brightest party
Liverpool's LGBTQ+ community established the city's Pride event in 2010 to commemorate the murder of Michael Causer in 2008. Since then, it's become one of the country's foremost protests against homophobia and transphobia - not to mention one of the city’s best annual parties.
This year’s event (28-29 July) promises to be as spectacular as ever, and, whether you’re a member of the community or simply an ally, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and get involved.
The Pride March is the cornerstone of the city's LGBTQ+ celebrations. It's a colourful, bombastic protest in support of equality and diversity both inside and outside the gay community. Beginning at St. George's Plateau, it winds its way through the city centre before ending with a gathering on Stanley Street. Individual supporters are welcome but, if you’re marching as part of a group, you can register to join the march here.
LIVE MUSIC & EVENTS
Pride’s first day will see Tithebarn Street transformed into a mini-festival site, complete with three stages, a VIP section and a chill-out area. Those stages will also host a pretty stellar line-up of pop music acts, including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Courtney Act and the cast from Kinky Boots. More here
COME OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Now in its third year, Come Out of the Shadows is a movement which seeks to affirm Liverpool's status as an LGBTQ+ friendly city to visitors and residents alike. Watch out for some of our best-known landmarks and buildings lit up in the colours of the rainbow: in the last few years, they've illuminated the Radio City Tower, Anfield football ground, St. George's Hall and even the Liver Birds.
LIVERPOOL PRIDE: PRODUCING EQUALITY
From 16-22 July, the Tate Exchange will be hosting a week's worth of events and workshops organised by some of Pride's leading lights. Step inside and you'll be able to meet the event's volunteers and supporters, view some of this year's art banners (or even create your own), and find out how you can contribute to the fight against homophobia. Not only this, but the Tate will also be hosting an exhibition of photography and film in celebration of Pride’s history.
For many, however, the best way to appreciate Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ scene is to throw yourself into the one thing it does better than anyone else: partying. The city’s gay quarter is one of the best in the country and there’s a plethora of amazing clubs, pubs and other venues in which to toast the rainbow.
Our favourite LGBTQ+ nightspots:
Cumberland Street's Poste House is a tiny gem of a pub that claims Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry, Noel Gallagher and (somewhat tenuously) Adolf Hitler among its former patrons. It's cheap, friendly, cosy - and the bar upstairs is well-known as one of the area's best gay venues.
Drag, cabaret and games are the order of the day at this extravagant Cumberland Street gay bar. They’re not afraid of a party, though, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a night where the dancefloor isn’t thriving. A proper old-school vibe, but unflinchingly friendly at the same time.
Hop over to Stanley Street to find this venue, which is open to the ‘gay, straight, normal and not so normal’. This is a drag venue first and foremost, meaning the atmosphere will be as fun as it is relentlessly tongue-in-cheek. Probably as gay as it gets, and a great spot for newcomers to the scene.
GBar leans more towards the ‘club’ end of the gay club spectrum. Notorious for its spectacular after-hours extravaganzas, GBar offers three rooms (one featuring live entertainment, one blasting out the bass-heavy club bangers and one playing all the quirkiest alternative tunes) as well as a lucrative membership scheme for regulars.
Another favourite of the gay quarter, the Navy Bar, like GBar, is definitely one of those places you’re likely to find yourself at 4am after a titanic rager which far, far outlasted Pride weekend itself. Still, it’s colourful, it’s fun and it’s scored by some of the best pop hits this side of …well, Pride’s main stage on Tithebarn Street.