Queerspace celebrated Christmas in style with support from Andrew Muir, the Mayor of North Down, Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and the Rev. Chris Hudson MBE from All Souls Church. The festivities commenced with a packed bus tour, generously supported by the Department of Social Development. A sea of red Santa hats brightened up the streets of Belfast and back to a Christmas Party with refreshing mull wine and fine snacks prepared by a small army of volunteers.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast said “I am delighted be here at the LGB&T Centre in Waring Street celebrating Christmas with our friends from the LGB&T Community. It has been my experience over the last 6 months as Lord Mayor that the gay community makes an enormous contribution to Belfast, is a great contributor to the City of Belfast and by being here I am giving thanks for that and renewing my support for the concept of including all our people in celebrating diversity in the City”.
The Mayor of North Down said that there has been massive change in Northern Ireland society since he came out in 1996. “The city has also evolved and became a lot more prosperous and peaceful and we have much further to go. We have got to create a city and a Northern Ireland of equals where people are treated equally and celebrated as valued citizens and to do that we need leadership from people to say that diversity is good and should be embraced”. Mayor Muir continued to say “it is great to be here with leaders of change from within the lesbian and gay community and also people from civic society and to transform our society we need more leadership and I am glad to be with people who have been very inspirational”.
Rev. Hudson gave credit by saying “You people yourselves have been a real catalyst for change here in the wonderful city of Belfast and in many ways the peoples voice is ignored and it’s important that it is heard and how it is heard is when people like Máirtín and Andrew use their office for good authority”. Rev Hudson continued to say “They look at people who appear to be on the margins who are excluded and say that’s not going to happen on my watch and we are really fortunate both in North Down and here in Belfast to have two people of excellent authority who have actually stood up showing new light to how this city and how this province can change and you people are part of that change”.
Queerspace is a vibrant volunteer led community group, based on collective planning and action which has served the Belfast LGB&T community since 1998. It’s run through open community meetings which are held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday afternoons of every month followed by a social space where members can relax, enjoy some free refreshments and meet with friends, old and new. Queerspace promotes and organises a wide range of social and cultural activities for the benefit of the LGB&T community and friends throughout the year.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at www.queerspace.org.uk or find it on Facebook.