Manchester Pride celebrates its 21st birthday with ‘Queer To Stay’ Lowry exhibition

By Emma Arnold

A commemorative exhibition was launched this weekend to celebrate the 21st birthday of Manchester Pride.

The display, Queer To Stay: 21 Years Of Manchester Pride, showcases the history of the festival with a wide collection of images, memorabilia and stories. Presented at The Lowry until October this year, the exhibition explores the impact the festival has had on individuals, community groups and charities in the region.

Festival organisers are asking Pride-goers to come forward with Pride posters, t-shirts, videos, brochures, tickets from throughout the Festival’s 21-year history, or any interesting facts and firsts from previous years.

Jackie Crozier, Manchester Pride festival director, said: “I’m really excited about this exhibition and to document the last 21 years of Pride is just wonderful.”

Now established as one of Europe’s liveliest celebrations, Manchester Pride has evolved over the 21 years since its beginnings as a selection of bring-and-buy stalls outside the Rembrandt Pub in 1991.

Ms Crozier added: “We’re particularly interested in those who attended the very first Pride in 1991 outside the Rembrandt pub. I would encourage people who have anything special stored away from previous Pride’s to get in touch.”

Not only does the new exhibition showcase the history of Manchester Pride throughout the years, but it also aims to explore the impact Pride has had on the gay community in and around Manchester.

Often just seen as a weekend full of fun, Manchester Pride raises thousands of pounds for LGBT and HIV charities. Queer To Stay: 21 Years Of Manchester Pride will look at the people who have benefited from the money raised by the festival in its 21 years.

Michael Simpson, head of visual art at The Lowry, said: “Pride has been such an important part of people’s lives for 21 years now. We hope this exhibition will be a comprehensive exploration of the impact Pride has had, both as a life-affirming annual celebration and a life-saving year-round charity.”

Queer To Stay: 21 Years Of Manchester Pride is available to view at The Lowry Theatre now until 16th October.

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