Stonewall Cymru is launching a new community activism campaign ahead of Saturday’s Mardi Gras in Cardiff.
The Shout OUT campaign will encourage the LGBT community to have their say about gay life in Wales and will tackle issues such as hate crimes, health care, education and employment.
Cardiff’s Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras is set to draw massive crowds this weekend.
Now in its ninth year, it has grown into one of the biggest free gay and lesbian events in the UK.
Liz Morgan of Stonewall Cymru Director told PinkNews.co.uk:
“Life for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales has changed immeasurably in recent years.
“We want to hear from people whose lives have been changed by recent legislative changes, such as civil partnerships and the new ‘goods and services’ regulations.”
“We also recognise that not everyone shares the same experiences and some people may still be experiencing harassment or discrimination.
“Shout OUT is about giving a voice to lesbian and gay people. These shared voices will help us target our work in areas where we can make a real difference.”
Stonewall Cymru is asking people to visit its stall at Mardi Gras to fill out a Shout OUT form, fill out a form online at stonewallcymru.org.uk, or complete the Stonewall Cymru Facebook group.
Cardiff’s Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras takes place this Saturday in Coopers Field, Cardiff.
Sue Thomas, Co-Chair of Cardiff Mardi Gras, told PinkNews.co.uk:
“We wanted to ensure that we continued to raise awareness that Mardi Gras is about much more than one day a year.
“A mixture of events and issues has been highlighted in the last six months in line with the colours and their meanings and these will now culminate together to form the rainbow under which our main event will be held.”
With expectations high when it comes to numbers attending, this year’s Mardi Gras is set to descend on Wales bringing with it numerous hot acts including Faye Tozer from Steps, singer Sonia and Llanelli band The Mams.
The celebrations started in 1999 with around 5,000 people and has grown to attract approximately 40,000.
Community issues are just as important as those of the individual for LGBT people, as Liz Morgan says:
“Mardi Gras creates an exciting buzz within the lesbian and gay and community so it’s the perfect time to launch a campaign that involves the whole community.”
The celebration of Cardiff’s sexual diversity, will be accompanied by that of Cardiff’s diverse religious and spiritual communities.
Sue Thomas added:
“We have a new reflection area which will be a space that will include representation from many faiths and beliefs including Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Pagan.”
“Its not only going to be a fantastic day out, but also forms a vital part of a wider strategy to combat homophobic hate crime and make Wales a safe place for all.”