LGBTQ+ Weekly Update

Friday, 22nd May 2020

Written by Carl Austin-Behan OBE DL 


Another packed week ahead within the LGBTQ+ “Lockdown” Community

This evening at 7.55pm there will be a special tribute to mark the 3rd Anniversary of the Manchester Arena Attack.


To Read the weekly newsletter from Canal St Manchester


This week’s bulletin from LGBT Foundation OUTspoken –


The LGBT Foundation has temporarily shifted to become a remote service delivery charity due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that all their face-to-face services will be suspended until further notice. Here you can find the details of what their remote delivery offer to LGBT communities will be during this time. Please check this page regularly for further updates, as they we add more details of their services and how they will continue to support you during this time.


The weekly update bulletin from The Proud Trust:


The weekly newsletter from I Love Manchester:


There is an open letter open letter to Liz Truss that has been developed by cis women in collaboration with trans and non-binary people. It is specifically asking for cis women to co-sign that they are not threatened by trans and non-binary people.

If you are able to sign and share as an individual, please do, and also please share with your networks!

Mermaids’ post with the open letter


AKT are still working with LGBTQ+ young people aged up to 25.  Staff are working from home and able to support young people with a range of services including live chat (, between 10am and 6pm), a variety of online activities and resources ( and one to one support with staff usually accessed at by completing a referral form at


This Saturday 23rd May: Proud 2 b Parents digital festival.  The forecast is sunny, and it’s time for us to come together (digitally speaking) and have some fun.

It is going to be a jam-packed day for everyone. The festival will be kicking off @ 10.00 am with Myrtle and their mascot Rainbow, they will then be having activities form their resident artist Mandy and Footlights Theatre school, story time with their resident Drag Artist Vivenne Lynsey and more fun with Captain Fantastic. The festival will be finished off with a special Parent’s Night in, which starts @8pm……Ooooh!



We’re bringing the LGBT+ Centre to you! For over 30 years we have been providing a safe haven for LGBT+ people and their friends, families and allies. We are now running an exciting programme of activities online to engage people from all across Manchester and further afield.

Do you work with communities and youth groups? Could you facilitate an online workshop or session for our programme? We have a small pot of funding to cover costs for 60-90 minutes of engagement activities and we’re looking for people to add to our virtual programme between June and August 2020. Workshops have included foraging, story shed, meditation, cook-a longs, authors’ readings, creative cafe and many more.

Interested? Please complete this form and share amongst your networks.


Next week at the #virtualLGBTcentre they have food, small joy zines, and arts and culture. New activities each week, supported by We Love MCR, book your free tickets here:

Weds 27 May, 5-6pm Queer vegan cook-along.

Grab your garlic and don your aprons. Rachel will be cooking from her kitchen to guide us through making a delicious curry from store cupboard essentials. Don’t have all the items, don’t worry! She’ll be sharing hints and tips for paring things back or using substitutes.

Rachel is the Cafe Manager of Sidney St Cafe at the LGBT+ Centre. She has a passion for sustainable and locally produced vegan ingredients.

Thurs 28 2-3:30pm Have a rummage in your paper recycling, dust off your art materials and join us for our virtual Creative Cafe on Google Meet. This week we will be celebrating small joys and making zines No arts experience necessary and all creativity is encouraged. Ages 14-25yrs welcome.


Fri 29th 2-3pm Project Inc: taster session. Project Inc work with young people to open up pathways into Arts/Heritage/Creative sectors through our study programmes. Join them for a taster of their opportunities, get creative with one of their artists and a chance to ask any questions you might have. Ages 14-25yrs welcome.

A Message From George House Trust

  • All staff are currently working from home. They are still able to provide one to one support by phone or Skype. Peer Mentoring is still on offer by phone or Skype. Counselling is still on offer by phone or Skype.
  • They are picking up phone messages remotely – people should still call 0161 274 4499 if they need support or advice
  • They continue to take referrals from clinics for support for PLWHIV

They have established a new volunteer role of ‘Telephone Buddy’. These volunteers are available to offer a friendly chat to anybody living with HIV and socially isolating. If someone would like to know more about this service, they can call the office number 0161 274 4499 or email

Manchester Pride wants to ensure they’re doing everything they can to support the LGBTQ+ community during these unprecedented times. They have recently launched some new online initiatives to continue which you can read about below.

Live In Your Living Room

Over the past five weeks, thousands have tuned in to their YouTube channel to watch past Manchester Pride performances and brand new content created by and for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.


This week, in recognition of the current period of isolation and to commemorate the third anniversary of the events of 22nd May 2017, they have created a show that will bring people and communities together, at a time when many are apart. Week six in our series of Friday night shows will feature a selection of performances from the Candlelit Vigil over the last four years of Manchester Pride Festival.

This one hour show will feature poignant displays of respect, empowerment and togetherness, the theme of which is We Are Family.

For the past two years, we have gone dark across our social media channels to commemorate those lost and affected by the events of May 22nd 2017. This year, in keeping with the Mancunian spirit of perseverance and strength, they will continue with their Friday shows by spotlighting both the LGBTQ+ community and the city in a show of solidarity for those affected at this time.

This Evening – Friday May 22nd for a very special show at 7pm.


Pride Sports Update:

Whilst some of us are stuck at home during lockdown, why not challenge yourself with the Pride Sports personal best programme! It’s simple, choose your activity, practise every week and let us know how you get on. Everyone who manages to achieve their personal best will receive a medal and certificate – In that case, I might do it myself just for the medal and certificate (CAB) x

This challenge is for anyone of any ability, you do not need to be fit, sporty or active, the only person you are competing against is yourself and you should stay true to the level you are at.

Lockdown PB challenge

Look out for updates across their social media platforms. @PrideSportsUK  They also have a free lockdown workout session every Tuesday and Saturday until the end of May

‘Staying Empowered During Lockdown’. LGBT FOUNDATION want to be able to support womxn of colour during lockdown and hope to be supporting them in a way that suits their wants and needs. Engagement has been low so this information could help keep this group running.


Are you a young person (aged 18-32) living with or affected by HIV; or do you work directly with young people living with HIV anywhere in the world?

Youth Stop AIDS want to hear from you.

Submit your video stories to help them spotlight the specific experiences of young people living with HIV during COVID-19, to call on governments around the world to leave no one behind in their response.

Send your videos via WeTransfer by Wednesday 27th May –find out more here

To give us consent to share your video, please write in the comment box on WeTransfer, or at the beginning of your recording, please say: “I consent for Restless Development and its approved partners to use this video in their communication activities of all kinds”

Find more information via our website and video recording guidelines and check out this example video from Alex, our Campaign Mentor on the Youth Stop AIDS Steering Committee.

If there is anything preventing you from sending a video, let us know and we’ll do our best to support!

Together, we can make sure no one is left behind in the global COVID-19 response.

Can’t wait to see your videos!


‘The Tip’: Let’s Talk About Sex, Pleasure and Social Distancing

There’re getting personal on Instagram LIVE! Despite the increasingly scarce availability of sexual health services in the UK and around the world, in the midst of rapidly-changing guidelines around sexual health testing, PEP, PrEP and confusion around information specific to people living with HIV, they want to share what they know and provide a forum for questions, reassurance and advice around future planning. There’re asking – There’re sharing – There’re getting personal – Wednesday’s on Instagram LIVE! 6pm – 7pm @lgbtfdn

If you or anyone you know has questions you want answers to, you can ask our sexual health experts in the comments or email in advance to .


Manchester Pride has launched its online initiatives to continue engaging with and supporting the LGBTQ+ community during these unprecedented times.


They want to ensure they’re doing everything they can to achieve their vision and support the LGBTQ+ community with year-round campaigns, events and opportunities. But they can’t do this without you, so, if you’re from one of the many LGBTQ+ communities in Greater Manchester, please join in the conversation and take part in their new Online Consultation and share with your networks.

The Online Consultation covers all things Manchester Pride and will be an invaluable tool in helping them develop all of their programmes to better represent, support and celebrate our wonderful LGBTQ+ community. The form will take 10-15 minutes to complete.


Click here to take part in Manchester Pride’s Online Consultation and share your views!


They are also aware that there is work to be done within the LGBTQ+ community itself. With this in mind they are reaching out to groups in Greater Manchester that are marginalised in an effort to understand how they can better support. They are doing this through conversations as part of their new Listening Groups project.


Trans Listening Group is taking place at 11am This Sunday 23rd May: to find out more and to register, please click here.


Manchester Pride are also continuing their new Community Conversations series and would love to hear from more groups and organisations about how you are adapting during this time.


If you’d like to take part in their Community Conversations series please contact:


LGBT Foundations new telephone befriending programme ‘Rainbow Brew Buddies’


We can all agree that a chat over a brew is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures, but not everyone always has someone to do this with regularly. LGBT Foundations new telephone befriending programme Rainbow Brew Buddies aims to reduce loneliness for LGBT people across Greater Manchester who may have reduced opportunities to make social connections due to the recent coronavirus outbreak or other circumstances in their life. Click HERE for further information.


LGBT Foundation in collaboration with Manchester Pride, will be getting free Safer Sex Packs to people’s homes.

They’ve created an online form and graphic for social media (attached). Please can you help them get the message out there and share across your platforms?


Government guidelines

Residents are still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, and to still stay 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household when you do go outside. You may have seen GMCA new campaign “Greater Manchester Joining Together While Staying Apart”. Please help us share these messages further, for example, by sharing these tweets:


Community Hubs 

They are still up and running and providing support to anyone who does not have any other way of getting food and medical supplies. This tweet contains the helplines for all 10 across Greater Manchester, and we would be grateful if you could help share this information:


Greater Manchester Bereavement Service

Support is available to all those in Greater Manchester, bereaved or affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone as they deal with their grief, and advice can be offered for any practical issues that losing a loved one may bring. or 0161 983 0902

You could promote this service by sharing this tweet:


 Answer Cancer Programme / Cancer Champions across Greater Manchester

This programme aims to improve cancer screening rates amongst under-represented groups in Greater Manchester, including LGBTQ+ people. There is no cost involved in signing up to be a Cancer Champion Organisation or Individual.  It is a pledge to share information/activities with team colleagues, workers, service users, families and friends on cancer awareness messages and saving lives. Answer Cancer will support individuals/groups through training, information sessions and grants. If anyone would like to discuss the Answer Cancer initiative in more detail please contact Kirit Patel (Development Worker) on 07729 782 594 or find out more at and


Keeping well at home 

The Ageing Hub and University of Manchester have produced a booklet to help you keep well at home. While it is aimed at older people, the advice inside also applies to people of all ages. You can download it here:


Spirit of Greater Manchester

We are also sharing positive stories of the things people are doing to help others during lockdown. You can find out more by searching #SpiritofGM. If you have a story to share, please share on social media with #SpiritofGM and tag @mayorofgm.


High Sheriff Special Recognition Awards

Eamonn O’Neal has recently been appointed High Sherriff, having been a Deputy Lieutenant for six years. He has launched the High Sheriff Special Recognition Awards to celebrate the great acts of altruism, kindness and thoughtfulness being seen during the COVID-19 lockdown. Winners will be awarded a special certificate, delivered by post, then invited to a celebratory event, once the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. To nominate an individual or a group for a Special Recognition Award, email for a nomination form. The same email address can be used to contact The High Sheriff for any requests to engage with community groups, good causes and charities.


Together in One Voice

On the 28th May the streets will be full of song when Greater Manchester joins together to create one of the largest community-led choirs in the world. The 30-minute virtual singsong will be live-steamed for audiences, and you can nominate your street to be filmed on the Together Manchester website or by emailing . You can raise awareness and excitement of this by sharing this tweet:


As usual I want to reach out to any individuals, groups, charities, organisations – Everybody who receives this, to offer whatever help, support, knowledge I have including signposting to other organisations to help us all get through these unprecedented times. If I can help in any way drop me an email, call, text or What’s App me on 07974 003396 Social Media – all @CarlAustinBehan


It would be really helpful if you could share any activity or initiatives that you are aware of that are working to mitigate any issues that are having an impact within the LGBTQ+ Community.


If you have anything you want to share across Greater Manchester with this LGBTQ+ Network:

please send it over to me –


#StaySafe XxX

Kind Regards

Carl Austin-Behan