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New LGBT+ poster campaign will take ‘pride of place’ at stations across the North West

New LGBT+ poster campaign will take ‘pride of place’ at stations across the North West

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

A new LGBT+ poster campaign will take ‘pride of place’ at stations across the North West - including Southport and Seaforth and Litherland.

The Ticket to Pride poster campaign, run by the charity The Proud Trust, aims to combat an upsurge in LGBTphobic hate crime on the UK’s bus and rail networks. However, with all but essential travel banned due to coronavirus, the charityis now sharing the artwork online and on social media, alongside information about how to report online hate crime and access support during the pandemic.

The Ticket to Pride campaign has taken months of planning and the posters on display are bespoke to each train station. A total of 15 stations across the North West region will display similar artworks - each incorporating the cultural influences of the location.

Litherland’s posters were inspired by the May Diamond Match Factory, an integral part of the town’s history, while the artwork for Southport train station’s poster was inspired by popular seaside traditions.

Sally Carr MBE, operational director of The Proud Trust said: “Our Ticket to Pride campaign has been months in the making and was set to launch with a series of high-profile events, sharing artwork and music created by LGBT+ young people. However, with the majority of us not being able to travel by train and public gatherings on hold, we had to find a different way to reach people. With the hope of spreading some joy and love among our communities at this difficult time, we’ve taken the campaign online.

“Hate crime on the transport systems is a problem among the LGBT+ community, but we also know that even before the pandemic one in 10 LGBT+ people and 26% of trans people would have experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse online.

"The coronavirus is likely to have many impacts on marginalised groups. People are likely to be more isolated, support services are less available and losing funding, and, as anxiety around the pandemic's impact on health and the economy grows, equality slips down the political agenda.

“We know that child abuse, domestic violence and LGBTphobia in the home and online are all increased during this period. All of this, combined with how people are spending more time online, makes our digital work all the more vital.

“Through a combination of education and awareness we hope to make online networks a safer and more pleasant place to be. Our overriding aim is to create a world in which all LGBT+ people feel safe to express and be themselves without the threat of violence.”

During the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures, The Proud Trust has seen an increase in demand for its services from vulnerable young people and has been working around the clock to make its usual support accessible to even more people in the community.

One-to-one sessions, local and wider community youth groups and events/socials are now all being delivered online. The charity has substantially increased its one-to-one resources and social media engagement so that it can engage with as many people as possible during a difficult time for those who identify as LGBT+, many of whom experience familial rejection and difficult relationships at home. As the UK’s largest LGBT+ youth charity, the Proud Trust is sharing knowledge with other organisations nationwide, having recently hosted a 70+ person online conference for LGBT+ youth workers across the UK, Ireland and the British Isles, which focused on immediate responses to the coronavirus and quarantining.

Ticket to Pride is funded by The Home Office’s Hate Crime Community Projects fund, Arriva Rail North’s Seedcorn Fund and Community Rail Lancashire. Find out more at https://www.theproudtrust.org/resources/ticket-to-pride/

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