Love is all around: LGF encourage Mancunians to express what love is to them for Manchester Pride

Mancunians and those across the North West have been spreading the love this week on social media in the run up to the Pride Big Weekend.

The theme for this year’s Pride is ‘love’, and many have been using the hash tag #Love_is to express what love means to them in whatever form, regardless of sexuality.

The hashtag was conceived by Manchester’s Gay and Lesbian Foundation, who have been encouraging followers to let their hearts run wild as the bank holiday weekend approaches. Those that do could potentially win the LGF’s mystery love box.

For the LGF this Pride, #Love_ is an open door, and over the weekend their building on Richmond Street will play host to an array of diverse activities, events and discussions that people can take part in if they are looking to take a break or avoid the hustle and bustle over The Big Weekend.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, said: “For The LGF, this is a chance to offer something truly unique. Something no other Pride can. In the middle of a busy, exciting, colourful and sometimes loud event, we’re opening our doors to our communities so they can feel refreshed, recharged and reconnected.

“Visitors to The LGF Community Hub (in the middle of the Manchester Pride event site) can look forward to everything from complementary therapies, book readings, a trans make-up and changing station, a brew and a chat to even watching the premier of the new series of Doctor Who with us on our big screen. Love is an open door and we’re inviting you to step in!”

LGF staff and Village Angels will be on hand to welcome visitors to The LGF at their front door on Richmond Street. They will also be on hand to welcome people at Piccadilly train station on Friday with a big Rainbow heart.

People will also be able to get involved and tell the world what love is to them on black board the LGF will be providing to people. Once they have written down their definition of love the can share it with the World Wide Web.

With support from the BBC, revellers can also visit the why LGF Diary Room and discuss their feelings on the weekend. The special video booth is a chance to record your thoughts with your community.

Throughout the weekend, the LGF have a community café, where poetry will be read on the Saturday, a Trans Make-up and Changing Station, and a range of health services including dry blood spot checks so you can know your HIV status.

Bringing some old school glamour to proceedings, the group will also be hosting a black tie LGBTea dance on Friday from 2pm to 5pm.

Attendees can relax with a selection of refreshments and Cadman’s School of Dance will be on hand to teach everyone how to cut a rug in style.

Going solo at a large event like the Pride Big Weekender can be intimidating.  So for those who arrive at Pride alone, the LGF will be providing a buddy service for people looking to spend time with others in a chilled out space.

For anyone who wants to see the parade but is worried about not getting a good view they can catch all the action on the big screens on Richmond Street where they will also be playing Peter Capaldi’s debut feature length episode of Doctor Who.

Once everybody’s all partied out on the Sunday and people are looking for some rest and recuperation, the LGF will be putting on a selection of complementary and alternative therapies, massage, reiki and foot massages so everyone can start the week properly.

The bank holiday Monday at the LGF will be inviting families to join them for a range of fun activities including balloon modelling, and face painting. They will also be providing information about adoption how you can start your own family.

Monday however will also be a day of it will also be one of remembrance.

Alongside the touching HIV Candlelight Vigil in Sackville gardens, members of the community are being encouraged to come and sign the Community Book Of Remembrance, sit in quiet reflection and talk to a friendly ear there to listen.

For a full listing of what is on offer over the weekend visit

Main image courtesy of Carmen Eisbar, with thanks. Inset courtesy of LGF.

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