Primary school children sang sweet songs on a sunny morning in front of Sale’s town hall to welcome people to the Pride in Trafford festival on May 17.
Proud parents beamed as they watched – and many recorded – their children perform, while council officials raised the Pride flag on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
People walking on the streets stopped to take part in the occasion, set-up to raise awareness and help create a welcoming and loving world where everyone is respected.
Every year, IDAHOBIT is observed on May 17 to highlight the violence and discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.
Trafford’s five-day annual LGBTQ+ arts festival ran from Tuesday May 17 until Saturday May 21.
This is the third year it has hosted a Pride in Trafford, which featured a range of events from comedy to cabaret.
At one of their venues, in Waterside, award-winning photographer Allie Crewe’s exhibition, Your Own Light, was showcased.
Allie said: “Journeys really interest me. People, when they are in transition in their lives from a gender point of view or transition in another sense when something is changing, that’s really interesting to me.”
Her exhibition focuses on stories of trans and non-binary people, like Olivia Fisher.
Olivia, a mental health nurse and a writer, who identifies as non-binary/trans feminine, was also present at the venue.
Olivia said: “We are having a conversation. As a trans and non-binary person, as a member of the LGBTQA+ community, I have a personal stake in that discussion. I can understand this discourse.
“I think we should respect one another.”
Festivals and events increasing visibility, awareness, and creating safe spaces for people from the community have become more vital as the UK has fallen in the ranking among European countries for LGBTQIA+ rights.
A report by International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Europe (ILGA-Europe) said that the UK fell from its 10th position to 14th.
The report said: “The equality body is not, as set out in its mandate, effectively protecting on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This comes at a time of widespread political and media anti-trans sentiment, while the British government is not moving on long-promised reforms on gender recognition and banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for all.”