Liverpool’s cultural history has always been rich, colourful and varied and has all the diversity you would expect of a major international port with a cosmopolitan outlook and long-established trade links to centres of creative activity the world over.
Liverpool’s LGBTQ presence is well established, active and visible throughout a city which has long been proud of its artistic and cultural heritage and the contribution artists and pioneers such as Holly Johnson, Terence Davies and Brian Epstein have made to both Queer and mainstream popular culture.
While some might say Liverpool lacks an established ‘gay village’ like Manchester’s Canal Street or Soho in London, savvy local’s will be quick to point out that the much of Liverpool’s city centre is a friendly, welcoming and safe space for LGBTQ locals and visitors alike. Many of the city’s well known and established bars, restaurants and creative spaces have a long history of gay ownership, staffing and management which has always encouraged a diverse and mixed clientele.
Liverpool has a rapidly growing reputation as a world-class tourist destination having been granted World Heritage Status in recognition of its architectural and cultural importance. The city was also a European Capital of Culture and this major event kick-started a cultural and artistic renaissance which was also instrumental in positioning Liverpool as an important champion of LGBTQ arts and culture for the 21st Century.
The Liverpool Biennial arts festival attracted a creative crowd from all over the globe, and its Independent fringe events in particular often featured a range of works by LGBTQ artists from Liverpool as well as further afield. Homotopia also originated during this exciting period of Liverpool’s artistic history with the specific aim of focussing on and celebrating LGBTQ art, performance and creativity and has become an essential and internationally significant yearly fixture in the cultural calendar.
by James Lawler, co-artistic director of The Gallery
Find out more about Homotopia, visit their website.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.