Young LGBT*Q+ people and staff from Outreach youth worked together to hold an event to celebrate LGBT History Month in Suffolk – based on the theme for the year of ‘Peace, Activism and Reconciliation’.
The event was kindly hosted that the Pacitti Company – Think Tank in Ipswich – which provided a fantastic space for the activities that young people had planned.
The evening was introduced by two young people from the project with an interest in drag and performance.
Local spoken word artist, MC and BBC Introducing host – A.N.G. performed some amazing poetry – with passion, energy and soul – and blew the audience away.
We were excited to be able to announce at the event that Robert Pacitti, Artist and Director of the SPILL Festival of Performance, had kindly agreed to become Outreach youth’s first Patron.
Robert took the opportunity to welcome everyone to his company’s premises and share some of his own history as a queer young man growing up in Ipswich, attending a local high school and his career and developments that led him to return to Ipswich and base his internationally renowned Pacitti Company here.
“I am delighted to become the first Patron of Outreach Youth, a dynamic organisation positively changing the lives of LGBT*Q+ young people across Suffolk. I myself grew up in Ipswich at a time when no such provision existed, and it was tough. So I know first-hand how vital this service is, not just because it supports and nurtures young people to thrive, but because in some cases it literally saves lives. As Patron, my role is to amplify this incredible work, to encourage private giving and, most importantly, to be part of supporting young LGBT*Q+ people across Suffolk to proudly be themselves.”
Young people then ran their Global Village activities sharing their ideas, concerns, experiences and opinions on the issues facing LGBT*Q+ people, and particularly young people, in Suffolk, across the UK and globally – these discussions really got everyone talking, listening and sharing opportunities that might be possible to work together to change some of these.
Feedback from attendees, around the young people’s input included
- “amazing – what a positive future the LGBT community has with these young people as activists”
- “thank you for the opportunity to spend time listening to these fabulous young people”
- ‘ I wish I had been able to be so active when I was a young gay man – how times have changed but from tonight its a reminder that there is still work to do”
The evening ended with one of the young women who attends the project – performing a song and A.N.G – performing further spoken word pieces.
We were also pleased to be joined by Ipswich MP , Sandy Martin, who spoke of his experiences and his support as a Suffolk County Councillor is supporting the project in the beginning.
It was an amazing event – with a real buzz and energy – the young people plan to build on this and are looking forward to arranging an event for LGBT History Month 2020.