Festival to celebrate LGBT views

Borough youngsters with Sarah Emmott from Art with Heart and Andrew Anderson from Contact, Manchester

Borough youngsters with Sarah Emmott from Art with Heart and Andrew Anderson from Contact, Manchester

Young people from Wigan and Leigh are to be part of a major festival celebrating the views of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community.

The Queer Contact Festival will take place this month at Contact, Manchester, and will proudly showcase LGBT arts and culture from across Greater Manchester as part of the North West’s LGBT History Month celebrations.

Borough youngsters will be part of a debate on February 11 called Queer Youth Gathering, uniting youth groups with councillors, artists, broadcasters and academics to discuss issues affecting young people today.

Andrew Anderson from Contact, Manchester, said: “We put young people at the heart of everything we do including our decision-making. Part of our mission is to engage with young people from the North West and give them a voice. We particularly aim to work with young people whose views might otherwise be excluded, which is why we feel it’s important to seek out and celebrate the views of young people who might be LGBT.”

The local youngsters have been practising their debating skills with arts organisation Art with Heart in preparation for the event.

Sarah Emmott from Art with Heart, who will host the Manchester event alongside Cosmopolitan magazine writer Rachel Morris, said: “We’re working with five different youth groups across Greater Manchester, running training on debating skills and then hosting debates on topics of the young people’s choice so that they can practice their skills.

“Parts of these debates will also be filmed and shown at the event. It’s been great working with young people from Wigan and Leigh. I’ve found them all to be articulate and really engaged in the subjects.”

For more about on the festival, which runs from February 10 to 18, visit www.contact.com. To find out more about the chance for young people to have their say in the borough visit www.wigan.gov.uk/LINC2 or email voiceandengagement@wigan.gov.uk