LGBT hate crime awareness day to be marked by Leeds for first time

Leeds Corn Exchange. Picture by Gary Longbottom.
Leeds Corn Exchange. Picture by Gary Longbottom.
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Leeds is to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBiT) for the first time as a city tomorrow.

A series of support groups and organisations will join forces to promote and celebrate services aimed at the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) community at Leeds Corn Exchange from 12noon to 4pm.

Information stalls, a discussion panel, music and a same sex dance class will feature at the event, which will take place alongside a screening of the film Pride at Wharf Chambers that will run from 2pm.

IDAHOBiT launched in 2004 to help draw the attention of politicians, the public and the media to the discrimination people were facing due to their sexual orientation or gender.

Rob Wilson, from Leeds City Council’s LGBT Hub group which has helped to organise the event, said: “It’s not just for people in the LGBT community but also those outside as well so we can make more people aware of the support and organisations that are out there for people. There are support groups as well as social groups, which can be just as important.”

The Leeds celebration is free but donations are welcome and will go towards Yorkshire MESMAC, which offers vital support to the LGBT community.

Around 1,600 events organised by 1,280 different organisations promoted and celebrated IDAHOBiT globally last year.

Coun James Lewis, deputy leader of the council, said: “This will be a perfect opportunity to celebrate diversity and demonstrate that we will not stand for hate crime of any kind.

“No one should be held back from reaching their potential because of who they are so I hope that as many people as possible attend, enjoy the day, and show their support.”

Email LeedsLGBT@Leeds.gov.uk for information.

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