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October 10, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

Following the success of our digital mini-festival in the summer, we are thrilled to announce a new series of online events to lift your spirits during the coming months.

Bourgeois & Maurice, Exclusive LIVE show.

Sunday 1st November at 7pm.

Critically acclaimed musical satirists and Hebden favourites Bourgeois & Maurice make a triumphant return to Happy Valley Pride, beaming on to your devices live via the digital realm! Riotous original songs meet hyper surreal, high fashion this exclusive show promises to be a provocative, thought-provoking and hysterical catwalk through the quagmire of current affairs.

“It’s hard to think of any other act delivering such clever, funny and sharp material”.***** Time Out.

The show will be FREE and LIVE on our Facebook page.

Mind Your Head – LGBTQ+ Mental Health Panel.

Wednesday 2 December at 7pm

Join us for this special panel session looking at mental health from an LGBTQ+ perspective. As we approach the festive period, find more about how to improve your resiliency, how to stay connected and engaged and how mental health connects with fitness, nutrition and general wellbeing. Hear from a range of experts and champions. Share your experiences and stories. Stay connected and be part of the conversation.

Hosted by Kate Odonnell, trans performer, activist and patron of Happy Valley Pride.

The panel includes

This event will be BSL interpreted and will be free to attend on Zoom, details will be posted on our Facebook page.

Kirsty’s Poptastic Christmas Singalong Party.

STREAMING LIVE FROM THE TRADES CLUB!

Saturday 19 December at 8pm.

Our online Singalong events have been a big hit this year. For this special Kirsty Newton will lead us in a big festive singalong of classic Christmas songs live from the stage of Hebden’s iconic Trades Club. From Wham to Slade to Mariah, all your favourites will be performed – glam up, grab some egg-nog and join in!The singalong will be followed by a DJ set by our very own Red Helen, who will play the best disco and yuletide hits, she will be joined by some very special surprise guests!

This event will be FREE and LIVE on Facebook and Zoom (the show will be performed without a live audience).

Horse – Live Performance and Q&A

Sunday 24 January at 7pm.

HORSE

Exclusive live show especially for Happy Valley Pride. When we booked her, Horse told us just how much her fans in the Valley mean to her.

An iconic and utterly unique singer/songwriter, her music is both moving and uplifting. The show will be followed by a Q&A where you ask the questions.

On Facebook Live and Zoom.



September 25, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

There is a lot going on behind the scenes at Happy Valley Pride as we make plans for 2021. Over 5,000 people engaged with our free digital events in the summer (which was amazing) and we will be announcing more very soon.

In the meantime, we are advertising for a Chair of the Board of Directors and a voluntary Artistic Director to help lead the organisation as we move forward.

If you are interested in joining us you can download the job descriptions below.

Please note that applications should be made via email.

‘Happy Valley Pride is one of the UK’s most alternative Pride festivals that’s got bigger and better year on year, punching above its weight with legendary acts and international performers’. Yorkshire Post – 29th June 2020



July 18, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

The Info Fair is a key part of our festival each year. With all activities and events going digital for 2020, so has the fair.

Download and keep information about a range of partner organisations.

Below some fantastic organisations that make a real difference to the community tell you about what they do in their own words.

Turfed Out – LGBT Clarets

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Burnley FC LGBT Supporter’s Group work with Burnley FC and the local community to promote inclusivity and create a safe space for LGBT supporters

Turfed Out are on a mission to make Burnley Football Club an inclusive, welcoming and positive space for LGBT Supporters. The group, and the club, are committed to challenging discrimination and inequality within football. We’re always looking for new members to get involved with our activism and to grow the social side of our activities. If you’re a fan of Burnley FC and would like to get involved, please contact us via our social media links and we’d love to talk to you!

Barnado’s Positive Impact Identity Service

Website and Facebook

We provide 1:1 and family support for young people under 25 with issues around gender and sexual identity. We also have a weekly LGBTQ+ youth group.

We provide training for organisations and classroom based LGBTQ+ workshops in schools for Primary age pupils in years 5 and 6 based around the new RSE and National Curriculum expectations.

We are still taking referrals. For more information people can contact us at [email protected] or 01422 371993.

The Brunswick Centre

Website, Facebook and Twitter

The Brunswick Centre enables people from the communities we serve to make informed choices, build healthier relationships, and live positive lives free of stigma. Our services are confidential, and we care about your information, we put safeguarding and data protection at the heart of everything we do.

We have a HIV service that supports people living with HIV, work around HIV prevention, including free, rapid and confidential HIV tests out in the community, Stop Smoking support for people from LGBT communities and people with HIV, Counselling for people with or directly affected by HIV, and for homosexually active men.

We have a LGBT Youth service funded by the National Lottery for Kirklees. Provide a training service offering a variety of awareness sessions/briefings, and we are a hate crime incident reporting centre.

Happy Virtual Pride, it is great that this is happening in these unprecedented times.

  • WE ARE STILL HERE – supporting people via telephone or online.
  • CONDOMS BY POST – our condoms by post service is still running for people living in

Calderdale and Kirklees and can be accessed through a text message with an address to post them to on 07874643429 or email us on condomsbypost @thebrunswickcentre.org.uk (we do not keep or share details)

HIV TESTING – Although at the moment we cannot offer our free, confidential and rapid. HIV tests you can get a free test by post via https://freetesting.HIV or you can contact the

Calderdale and Huddersfield Sexual Health service on 01422 261370 or 01422 261365, to be triaged over the phone, they can then offer an appointment where appropriate.

West Yorkshire Archive Service

Website, Twitter and Facebook

The West Yorkshire Archive Service collects and preserves historical records of all kinds dating from the twelfth century to the present day. We offer a wide range of services including using archives in our search rooms, our Research Service, learning and community support, and conservation and preservation advice.

Whilst our physical search rooms are currently closed to the public, our virtual doors are always open! There are lots of resources available online on our website www.wyjs.org.uk/archives and you can get in touch with us with any archive related questions at [email protected]

Some collections are already fully accessible online, including:

West Yorkshire Queer Stories

From Wetherby to Wakefield, Cleckheaton to Castleford, everyone has a memory worth sharing. From 2018-2020 West Yorkshire Queer Stories collected stories about LGBTIQ+ life, from the every day to the extraordinary. Interviews took place across the region to make sure that LGBTIQ+ voices were captured and conserved as part of local history. Those stories will be preserved at the West Yorkshire Archive Service Leeds and are available to view on the WYQS website

The Diaries of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall

We are proud to be the home of the diaries of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, 1806-1840, often known as the ‘first modern lesbian’, and the inspiration for the BBC/HBO drama ‘Gentleman Jack’. The diaries were inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in recognition of their substantial cultural significance, and have a particular interest for the LGBTIQ+ community.

High quality digital images of every page of Anne’s diaries are available to view on the West Yorkshire Archive Service online catalogue. Find out more about how to view the diaries, and read an introduction to Anne in our online exhibition.

The true extent of Anne’s diaries remained hidden because of Anne’s use of a code or ‘crypt-hand’ but an Award Winning volunteer project is now helping to make transcripts available. There are currently over 140 volunteer ‘Code Breakers’ globally with an active social media community sharing advice on transcribing, stories from the diaries, and their own personal and emotional interactions with Anne Lister. Join the conversation on Twitter at #AnneListerCodeBreaker.



July 14, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

We have launched a series of videos featuring LGBTQ+ friendly stories for children across Calder Valley and beyond – as part of our series of digital events for 2020. The four special stories all have an LGBTQ+ focus and have been read by friends and supporters of Happy Valley Pride.

And Tango Makes Three

The story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who create a family together.

Authors: Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Illustrator: Henry Cole. Published by Simon & Schuster.

Read by Sean Pert.

Julian is a Mermaid

An award-winning picture book about self-confidence and love.

Author: Jessica Love, Illustrator: Jessica Love. Published by Candlewick Press.

Read by Terry Logan

Frockodile

The wonderful story of Cliff, the crocodile who wants to wear a dress.

Author: Jeanne Willis, Illustrator: Stephanie Laberis. Published by Hodder Children’s Books.

Read by Jenny Wilson.

Mommy, Mama and Me

One of the only original board books about gay parents! 

Author: Lesléa Newman, Illustrator: Carol Thompson. Published by Tricycle Press.

Read by Lisa Tregellas.

Chair Tim Whitehead commented: 

“A key part of what we do at Happy Valley Pride is engaging with all parts of the community. As part of our digital focus for 2020, we wanted to provide something that teachers and parents can use to engage with children using stories with an LGBTQ+ focus. These wonderful, inspiring and powerful stories are read by friends of Happy Valley Pride and we hope children (and grown-ups) will enjoy listening to them. Thank you to the authors for their kind permission, and to our special storytellers.”

Check out what else is happening as part of Happy Valley Pride Digital.



July 3, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

We are very excited to announce a series of exclusive, free to attend, online events from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 July, the week that Happy Valley Pride should have taken place.

Happy Valley Pride Digital 2020

Jinx Monsoon – A Midsummer Night Scream – Saturday 25 July, 8pm.

Happy Valley Pride has established a reputation for bringing world class acts to the area, and following this tradition we are thrilled that international drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon will perform an exclusive show created especially for us. One of the biggest stars to come from the Netflix mega-hit TV show Rupaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx won season five and has gone on to tour worldwide.

‘A drag queen at the artistic genius end of the spectrum of sassiness’ – ★★★★★ Attitude

‘Straight or gay, everyone leaves this show with sides aching from laughter’ – The New York Times.

More information on Facebook

Kirsty’s Poptastic Piano Singalong D*I*S*C*O Special and After-party – Friday 24 July, 8pm.

Kirsty Newton will lead another of our hugely popular singalong events, this time we’re hitting the dancefloor and singing classic Disco and pop anthems. The singalong will be followed by an after-party with ‘Legendary’ (BBC 6 Music) DJ Red Helen, who will play a set from her sell-out Trades Club night D*I*S*C*O.

More information on Facebook

Writing Anne Lister: An LGBTQ+ History – Thursday 23 July, 7pm.

Writer and academic Dr Jill Liddington, whose research into the diaries of Anne Lister inspired the BBC/HBO series Gentleman Jack, will provide an insight into the life and times of the iconic Anne Lister ‘the first modern lesbian’. This talk was originally due to take place back in March just before lockdown hit, the event will take place live and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

More information on Facebook

Happy Valley Pride’s Chair, Tim Whitehead says

We’re pulling out all the stops with very limited funding and resources to create something special for our wonderful community in a very challenging year. Even though we can’t get together in person it’s important to still show our Pride.”

Be Here, Be You, Be Proud!



June 29, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

Shantay, you stay!

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, Jinkx Monsoon will host an exclusive, free, online show, especially for Happy Valley Pride in July 2020.

Jinkx won season 5 of the mega-hit show and is one of the biggest stars to come from the Drag Race phenomenon. 

An accomplished singer and comedian performing shows worldwide, Jinkx tours extensively throughout the UK – most recently selling out shows in Manchester and London.

More details will be announced very soon.



May 23, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

She’s back! Due to popular demand, Happy Valley Pride presents Kirsty’s Poptastic Singalong – Back to the 80s Special!

On Friday 5 June at 8pm the ‘enormously talented’ (BBC), ‘musical powerhouse’ (Chortle) Kirsty Newton will be back to lead us all in a life affirming singalong party, and this time we’re going back to the 80s!

FIND OUT MORE

The event will take place online, we’ll be singing some of the biggest 80s anthems as chosen by you. Kids are welcome too!

The last singalong attracted over 100 people, so save the date and more details will follow shortly.



May 18, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme this year is kindness, so let’s think about being kind to yourself!

There has never been a more vital time to make sure you are looking after your mental health. There are so many hints and tips around on maintaining your mental wellbeing during these difficult times. Remember there are no hard and fast rules! Everyone is different, we are all coping with different challenges and living in very different circumstances. So here I offer some of the common themes I have noticed and offer up some of my own thoughts.

Pick and choose what you think may be useful for you! Anything you do will be beneficial. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Also take a look at some of our specific examples of how you can keep active, positive and entertained.

Avoid news overload

Obviously it is important to keep up-to-date with developments but it is useful to set limits. The constant flow of information is overwhelming online, on TV, on the radio – the news is everywhere. Perhaps catch updates in the morning then again in the evening. You won’t miss anything if you are not continually monitoring the situation. Also stick to reputable news sources – that friend on Facebook may mean well but sharing unfounded conspiracy theories really doesn’t help anyone!

Maintain a routine

Everyone has experienced a huge shift in lifestyle in recent times and this has a significant impact on your overall health. Try to maintain some kind of routine. Go to bed at the same time (ish) each night, try and stick to three meals a day, go for a lunchtime walk etc. If you notice your routine slipping, try and get it back on track as quickly as possible. For example, I noticed I was starting to have lunch earlier and earlier each day, when it got as early as 10.30am I realised I needed to reset my routine!

Express gratitude

Try and think of three things each day you are grateful for. Doing this regularly can help you feel more positive and optimistic. Feeling ‘grateful’ isn’t always easy, especially at the moment, but focusing on the good things in your life really will give you a boost each day. I try to take a few minutes each day to write down a brief list of things I am grateful for or happy about. Often it is something simple as seeing a deer in the woods, that there is a new series of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, or I managed to get out for a run. 

Organize your mind

Writing down what you have to do each day will help you plan more efficiently and have a more productive day. Writing it down gets it out of your head, and a list often seems more manageable than random thoughts. It doesn’t have to be detailed or extensive. I try and create a quick note on my phone of what I need to do each day and also what I want to do each day. 

Organize your space

We all have different living situations. Living alone or with others, try and ensure a sense or organization where possible. You don’t have to be ultra-tidy but keeping on top of household chores will stop things becoming overwhelming down the line. If you live with others and you have some space for yourself, try to create a bit of sanctuary where you can go to relax and unwind on your own.

Stay connected

Technology is a wonderful thing and helps us all keep connected. You can video call friends and family, join virtual quizzes and much more. You can also keep in touch with a simple text or WhatsApp. If you are really old fashioned you can even phone someone. However, all this can also be overwhelming so don’t feel bad about not joining everything or jeeping in constant touch with everyone you have ever met. Like most things in life, it is about balance! And this relates directly to the next tip…

Do not compare yourself to others 

You may think everyone is coping with the current situation better than you. It seems to me everyone is using their spare time to bake banana bread, do all the DIY jobs they have been putting off, learn a new skill etc. I have mainly been watching Peaky Blinders and Schitt’s Creeks – and that is fine! What people put out on their on social media is rarely truly representative of how people really feel. Everyone will have their ups and downs.

Be active

Whatever that means for you! That may be a one-mile jog or running a half marathon. Maybe it is a Joe Wicks PE class or maybe it is dancing around your living room. Trying to do a bit more each time is great, but then if you skip a day that is fine as well. The key thing is to just to keep moving. 

Everything in moderation

Alcohol and food sales through the roof and it is unsurprising we are seeking comfort in a glass of wine and slice of pizza. When this becomes a bottle of wine and full pizza every night it may be time to cut back a little (I am speaking from experience). Try and keep the treats for the weekend for example. Though again don’t worry too much if you slip up. Just try and get back into a sensible routine.

Get some head space

Take some time each day to give yourself some headspace. This could be meditation, mindfulness, brain training or whatever works for you. If you haven’t tried these things before, give it a go. Give yourself a dedicated slot just for your head – even just five minutes will make a difference. There is lots of information online and loads of apps available. I try and do a short hypnosis session every day, using an app to have 30 minutes to relax and think positive thoughts and I always feel better afterwards.

Give yourself a break

Working from home, trying your best at home schooling, maintaining your studying or whatever it is you may be doing, regular breaks will help you feel refreshed and come back to your tasks with more energy and focus. With us all spending most of our time at home, it can be hard to separate things out. Just going to a different room, or in to the garden if you have one or sticking your head out the window if you don’t, can really help.

Really, give yourself a break! 

This is the most important thing! GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re having a difficult day. We all have to adjust to the “new normal”. What is happening is a big deal. There will be good days and there will be bad days. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel low, or if you haven’t achieved everything you wanted to or if you ended up eating the entire packet of hob nobs. It happens, so pick yourself up and move on.

Think ahead

Although it may not seem like it at the moment this will pass! It will take time and things will be different on the other side, but it is good to look forward, start planning and give yourself some longer term goals. 

Finally, if you need to reach out for more support

There are many organizations ready and able to help if you do need support. If it does all feel a bit overwhelming don’t hesitate to ask for help.