Experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in South Tyneside during Covid-19 to form part of upcoming Northern Pride exhibition

The challenges faced by South Tyneside’s LGBTQ+ community during the coronavirus pandemic are to form part of an upcoming exhibition organised by Northern Pride.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 6:00 am

Throughout 2020, the organisation ran its ‘Life in Lockdown' campaign, which collated stories shared by the North East’s LGBTQ+ community during the early pandemic months.

Northern Pride now intends to share these experiences with the public through the round of exhibitions and the book publication.

The ‘Life in Lockdown’ exhibitions are due to be held at a number of yet-to-be-confirmed venues across the region, with each event placing its focus on a different set of stories.

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Mock-up sample image of the upcoming 'Life in Lockdown' exhibition.
Mock-up sample image of the upcoming 'Life in Lockdown' exhibition.

Both the book’s release and the round of exhibitions are currently scheduled for July.

A series of events with local businesses are also being prepared as part of a wider programme of support for the region’s LGBTQ+ community.

South Tyneside businesses are encouraged to get in touch with Northern Pride to register their interest in taking part by contacting: [email protected]

Ste Dunn, the director of Northern Pride, said the organisation was looking at ways of helping people of all ages in every corner of the community.

“The economic and health impact of Covid-19 has hit everyone hard, and we are looking at ways that we can be proactive in helping those who run businesses or people who may have lost their jobs,” he said.

“We are looking at events such as job fairs and promoting employment opportunities as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Mr Dunn added that, as the organisation develops its post-Covid strategy, Northern Pride is particularly conscious that LGBTQ+ people have suffered during the pandemic, often through a heightened sense of social isolation.

“We will be supporting our LGBTQ+ youth through family events and events targeted at young queer people, whilst also looking at ways to give support to our older generations,” he said.

He said the organisations other priorities include amplifying black queer voices and supporting the continued fight for trans rights.

“Reflecting on the first anniversary of lockdown shows what a long and challenging year we have all experienced,” Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said.

“As we shape the recovery plans for Newcastle as a whole, it is vital we support the unique and diverse communities that help shape our great city, and I know that Northern Pride will be working hard to support the LGBTQ+ community on the road to recovery.”

Northern Pride announced in February its decision to make this year’s Pride event in July a virtual festival for the second consecutive year, given ongoing uncertainty over public health risks associated with Covid-19.

“Our priority has to be to keep everyone safe as we come out of lockdown, and as we plan our own particular roadmap, we want to make sure that we continue to support every part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Mr Dunn added.

“We have now had a year of exceptionally tough times for everyone, but we are going to do everything we can to help steer us to a much more optimistic future.”

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