Liverpool’s seventh annual Homotopia festival begins today.

The month-long event showcases the best in LGBT art and culture, including dance, cabaret, poetry, literature, film and exhibitions.

For the first time, the festival has a youth strand called Right To Love.

Highlights include a reading by lesbian author Stella Duffy, the comedy and music night Lavender Girls and the play Mother/Son by Jeffrey Solomon.

The event is also spreading internationally, with a an exhibition in Turku, Finland, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and British Embassy in Ankara are funding research into the possibility of holding a Homotopia festival in Turkey.

Festival director Gary Everett said: “Homotopia offers a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment for everyone of all ages. From the hilarious, outrageous and subversive to the thought-provoking and challenging.

“International artists from Italy, Mexico and the US rub shoulders with writers and performers from Wales, Scotland and Liverpool. We are now the only LGBT cultural festival in the north of England – come and find out why.”

For the full line-up, see www.homotopia.net/