As part of this years Liverpool Mental Health Festival (LMHF) young people from GYRO (YPAS’s LGBTQ youth groups) and THE Action Youth (YPAS Trans specific youth group) created an amazing exhibition space at the Walker Art Gallery, named LGBTQ+ Youth – Take Pride in Your Identity. This was a true reflection of the pride, positivity and creativity that LGBTQ young people in Liverpool have. The event was part of the Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in conjunction with the Arts Council Collection.
The pop up event was a great success and young people really enjoyed having the chance to showcase their work in such a prestigious venue like The Walker Art Gallery. Curating the exhibition has not only helped young people develop confidence in themselves and their abilities but has also shown them that venues like the Walker Art Gallery can be for, and enjoyed by, young people.
Chris Porter, YPAS Support Services Team Lead (LGBTQIA+) added:
As part of LMHF we thought it really important to showcase the amazing work that young LGBTQ+ people across Merseyside have done highlighting pride in their identity. When young people first access our services there is often a caged, guarded and anxious approach to whether they should let us staff into their personal lives. We see anxiety, self harm, depression, suicidal ideation, isolation and low self-esteem coming through the doors but we aim for when they are leaving the same very door that the young people feel empowered, proud of who they are and even happy! Being part of the LGBTQ+ community can be both isolating and galvanising and we hope that the pop-up in Forum showcased what happens when LGBTQ+ youth get together to use their energy and enthusiasm to shout loud and proud about their identities because contrary to popular belief it’s actually pretty awesome being LGBTQ+. We’re really proud of our young people for creating the work and curating the space. Big shout out to Ben, Vincent, Peter, the Ukelads, Cal and Jordyn for making the event such a special experience and letting us see things through their eyes. Thanks also to Angelica and the staff at the Walker who made it all possible including special shout out to the Patisserie chef who made an amazing cake which went down a treat with everyone.”