Borough stands up against prejudice

Pictured back left, Megan Winnard, Martin Smith, and Alex Butler, front, Zak Bretherton, Daniel Bonney and Jess Eastoe
Pictured back left, Megan Winnard, Martin Smith, and Alex Butler, front, Zak Bretherton, Daniel Bonney and Jess Eastoe

Wiganers took a stand to inform residents of the borough’s Pride festival and combat prejudice on a global day for tolerance and diversity and against hatred.

Representatives from adult support and engagement group BYOU+ had a stall in the Grand Arcade for Idahobit, the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

They told people about the 2017 Wigan Pride Festival taking place in August and sold badges for the event and the Believe I’m Only Human campaign.

Members of the borough’s Pride’s organising committee and youth workers from council-run group BYOU also took to the streets in Leigh town centre to spread the word for Idahobit.

BYOU+ co-founder Jess Eastoe said: “The idea of the day was to spread the message of who we are, what we are and what we do as well as what Pride is about. I think it’s crucial on a national level that we get out there on Idahobit to make sure people are aware homophobia still exists. Some people live in a bubble and think that because we’ve got legislation all the prejudice has stopped and it hasn’t.

“We also spoke to people about the work of our organisations for anyone who wants to join. We got a really nice reception and we got a few details of people wanting to join us or sponsor and perform at Pride, which is really good.”

For more information about Wigan Pride Festival or the organisation, visit https://www.wiganpride.com/ or www.byoupluswaigan.com/

l Meanwhile Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham joined Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and Special Constable Ryan Orme to raise the rainbow flag at GMP headquarters in their own show of solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Rainbow flags also flew from all fire stations in Greater Manchester including the four in Wigan borough.

Mr Burnham said attitudes were changing but not quickly enough and he described Greater Manchester as a beacon to the world with its message of cohesion and hope.