Gay youth to picnic in Soho Square

Tony Grew June 6, 2008
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London’s largest gathering of LGBT youth will take place in the centre of the city later this month.

The capital’s next generation of gays will gather in Soho Square on Friday 20th June for the ‘OutZone Summer Picnic’.

Organised by The OutZone Youth Project and PACE Youthwork, the annual picnic is part of the Pride celebrations, in the run up to the main Pride London 2008 event on Saturday 5th July.

The OutZone Youth Project and Youthwork Service are part of PACE, founded in 1985.

“The event was originally developed as a way to help young men, to feel more confident about ‘being themselves’ in public spaces,” said PACE Youthwork Service Manager Andy Higgins.

“It was also promoted as a safe and facilitated introduction to central London’s ‘gay scene’ – which they often perceive as an intimidating and threatening environment.”

The event now in its 6th year and has been opened up to friends and family of LGBT youth.

“We thought it would be an excellent idea to make it into a community event by having their families, and straight friends come along to enjoy the evening,” explained Mr Higgins.

Senior Youth Worker Jo Gate Eastley added:

“It always astounds me how many young people turn up to our mid-summer picnic, come rain or shine.

“Pride London celebrations would not be complete without this event.

“Last year we attracted a particularly high number of lesbian and bisexual young women, and we’re hoping to see similar amounts of girls enjoying the summer sunshine, along with the boys, this year.”

The event is aimed at young people aged 25 and under and participants may be asked to prove their age and identity.

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