The idea is to become the most visibly LGBT+ city in the UK

IN a week when followers of the orange and green allegedly came to blows on Renshaw Street, it’s good to see that other colours of the rainbow can still play together nicely and represent hope for a more tolerant world.

Following last year’s Come Out of the Shadows project in Liverpool, which saw over 30 city buildings illuminated in rainbow colours, the initiative returns this July in a bid to “make Liverpool the most visibly LGBT+ city in the UK”.

Organised by Liverpool Pride, the event team is hoping even more buildings and businesses will join in this time round, or alternatively show their support by displaying the rainbow flag.

Liverpool Pride says a number of the city’s most famous and recognisable buildings have already pledged their support and will be lit up from July 20-30. They include St George’s Hall, Liverpool Central Library, the Everyman Theatre, FACT, Royal Court Liverpool, World Museum Liverpool, ECHO Arena, Merseyside Police Headquarters, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, James Street Station and Barclays Bank.

The wider city region is involved too, with the Atkinson in Southport, Crosby Library, New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion and the Steve Prescott Bridge in St Helens all planning to get colourful for the cause.

Even the Reds are promising to add a little chromatic variety to their usual monochrome mix. After successfully lighting up the Kop in rainbow colours last year, Liverpool FC will once again be going multicoloured in support of the project.

201706012 Floral Pavilion Come Out Of The Shadows Credit Jimmi Richardson

According to Liverpool Pride’s Michael Carey, “Come Out of the Shadows is about highlighting the city region as one that is tolerant and visibly LGBT+ friendly. We believe that discrimination in any form is unacceptable, and have created this lighting strategy to celebrate equality and diversity. Liverpool Pride invites all building owners, venues and businesses across the city region to contact us, pledge your support and help us to shine even brighter.”

Liverpool Pride itself takes place over the weekend of July 29-30, with two days of parties, parades and activities built round the theme of ‘International Love’. The theme is intended to complement the city’s wider 50 Summers of Love festival, with Pride’s contribution celebrating the fact that it’s 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised.

Barclays are the headline sponsors of this year’s festival, and while the banking sector has certainly been on the receiving end of some colourful language in recent times, the company is throwing its weight behind this bid to give Liverpool a special rainbow glow.

“At Barclays, we want our colleagues, customers and clients to feel free to express who they are at all times, “ says Mark Armario of Barclays UK. 

“We’ve made great strides internally in creating an inclusive global workplace, but we want to go further. By supporting Liverpool Pride and the Come Out of the Shadows project, we’re saying ‘this is who we are’ and we want to encourage everyone else to be able to say who they are, without fear.”

In addition to its 10 days of rainbow illumination, Come Out of the Shadows also includes a public exhibition featuring local LGBT+ communities. Running from July through to early September, the exhibition will “promote and showcase each individual community, raise awareness of the Come Out of the Shadows campaign, and promote the Straight Ally flag, which is a way that non-LGBT+ communities can show their support for LGBT+ equality and diversity.”

While Come Out of the Shadows is already shaping up to be bigger than last year’s event, organisers say there’s still time for other building owners and businesses to get involved. So if you’d like your venue to be lit up in support of the LGBT+ community, get in touch with Liverpool Pride at