Liverpool Pride Announces 2011 Theme and Receives Support from Anton Hysen

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In celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) Liverpool Pride has some exciting news…
The theme for this year’s festival will be Summer of Love!

Liverpool Pride can also share a message of support from Anton Hysen, the world’s only ‘out’ professional footballer and son of former Liverpool FC star Glenn Hysen.

As The Beatles famously sang ‘All You Need Is Love’ and Liverpool Pride will be showcasing this when the Summer of Love themed festival bursts into life in the city centre on Saturday 6th August bringing with it a FREE fun filled day for all the family.

The announcement comes just days after news broke of the beating of two of Liverpool’s best loved Drag Queens Lady Sian and Calvin Fox.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Hazel Williams, said “IDAHO is an important day in the city’s calendar and I’m delighted to say the Town Hall will be flying the rainbow flag with pride. Following the horrendous attacks on members of the gay community, this day is a chance for us to reinforce the message that homophobia is unacceptable. As a city council, we will do everything we can to promote diversity in this great city.

“I’m delighted that this year’s theme is ‘Summer of Love’ and I hope it will bring everyone together in the spirit of unity and togetherness. IDAHO will be a fantastic pre-cursor to the much-anticipated return of Liverpool Pride in August – our major celebration of the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.”

Following a vote on liverpoolpride.co.uk and around the gay scene, Summer of Love was an overwhelming winner with 46% leaving the other themes All At Sea, Film Noir and Hollywood Glamour far behind.

Tommy McIlravey, Chair of Liverpool Pride said “We knew last year’s Rainbow Circus would be hard to beat, so many people did us proud to make the day one of the most colourful in the city’s history. The local LGBT community have voted in their droves to give us another cracker for 2011. The Summer of Love will see an ocean of hippies, fluoros and flower children flood into Liverpool ready to paint the town pink on 6th August.”

Commenting on the recent attacks, Tommy continues “I can’t believe what has happened to our Lady Sian, she’s a friend and neighbour and was an absolute star at Liverpool Pride 2010. I know she’ll be back on her feet in August with bigger hair and a bigger smile than anyone else! Thousands of people came out to show their support for us last year and it’s good to be reminded that for every bigot who attacks one of us there are a thousand more good people who will stand up and be counted.”

Liverpool Pride recently received a message of support from Anton Hysen, the World’s only ‘out’ professional footballer, who came out in interview with Offside Magazine this March. The son of former Liverpool FC player Glenn Hysen, 20 year old Anton was born in Liverpool and still feels a close bond with the city.

Anton said: ”Being born in Liverpool, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the city and it’s great to hear how much it does for its gay community. I was shocked to hear of the recent attacks and about what happened to Michael Causer. I think it’s disgraceful that attacks like this still happen across the world. We need to learn from each other and also to teach younger people how to treat each other with mutual respect despite different backgrounds, colour, sexual orientation & religion. I’m very proud to be from Liverpool & I wish everyone a safe & happy Pride.”

Before 2010, Liverpool was the largest city in the country that didn’t have its own official pride festival. Liverpool Pride came about following the launch of the LGB&T Network in 2009, at which the public voted for a pride festival to engage, empower and involve the LGB&T communities within the city. This was fully endorsed by Liverpool City Council and the first official Liverpool Pride Festival saw over 21,000 people take to the streets of Liverpool in celebration of all things LGBT. It is hoped that Liverpool Pride 2011 will build on this success and will celebrate the diverse community of one of Europe’s leading cultural cities once more.