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May 16, 2021 Malcolm Struthers0

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (17 May). If you listen carefully you can almost hear a collective sigh and rolling of eyes. Another awareness day, week, month! What’s the point? The number of days, weeks, months in the calendar raising awareness for different causes can seem overwhelming. However, it is too easy to simply dismiss them.


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Guest Blog by Megan Garside

Photo credit: Sarah Mason

Children are the future – there’s no doubt about that. That’s why Happy Valley Pride makes it a priority to educate the next generation with lessons from the past and pass on the message of love and equality.

Education has always been a key aspect in our mission. Each year we work closely with schools in Calderdale, to help them to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community through our Youth Engagement program.

This year we are focusing on encouraging the children to explore their own individuality and express themselves through art and creative outlets. We call this the Creative Youth Engagement Project.

When it came time to choose this year’s Youth Engagement officer, there was no better choice than local musician and LGBTQ+ supporter Terry Logan. If you live in Hebden Bridge, you have probably heard of Terry logan, but if you haven’t then listen up! Terry is an amazing musician and has been a prominent member of the local pride community for quite some time.

Terry is not only a singer-songwriter by night, but a teacher by day. She is the Head Mentor Tutor at Ryburn Valley Sixth Form where she created one of the first LGBTQ+ student support groups in Calderdale and inspired students to run their own Pride week and musical theatre production. Extra-curricular activities are very important to Mrs Logan as she has led many afterschool events including a Battle of the Bands competition for all the sixth forms in Calderdale.

With such an impressive background, Happy Valley Pride decided to give Terry creative control of the project with the central theme being identity and creativity.

Terrys initial idea was to put on a fashion show that would take place during the Happy Valley Pride festival. The kids involved would showcase their costumes that represent their own individuality and identity. When asked about her thought process behind this idea Terry said,

“I took inspiration from ballroom culture and how the fringes of society express themselves through fashion and representing themselves through visual identity.”

However, when the community caught wind of this exciting idea, many schools wanted to take part and it became apparent that this project had some branching out to do. With help from teaching staff, Terry has spread the program over five Key Stage groups in eight different schools.

 “I’ve had great support from the teachers who have told me what particular objectives to focus on and what type of tasks would work for their particular students in their particular schools”

The schools that are taking part are; Old Town School, Todmorden High School, Central St Infant & Stubbings Infants, Heptonstall School, Calder High, Calder Primary, Riverside Primary and Ryburn Valley High School.

Age is an important factor, so to accommodate age groups across the educational system, each Key Stage will have their own separate project based on the theme of identity, but will share the same learning objectives:

  • To develop our understanding of identity
  • To develop our understanding of diversity
  • To develop our awareness of the LGBTQ+ community
  • To develop our awareness of equality and compassion
  • To connect communities both educationally and wider

Terry has devised a number of colourful and engaging lesson plans and activities that will be taught by teachers in each respective school.

“I hope this project will give the kids a more positive self-image but also a better understanding of others so that there isn’t any animosity or bullying in schools because those years when we’re growing up are our most insecure.”

The children in KS1 (aged 4-6) will take part in a string of lessons based around their personal identity, family identity, cultural identity and sexual identity. They will then take all of that learning and create a personal piece of art that signifies how they see themselves as an individual. Those art pieces will then be put into a collage and displayed at a local art gallery on display where they can be enjoyed by the community.

KS2 (aged 7-10) will be bringing Terry’s original idea to life – the identity costumes. Understanding identity through clothing will resonate especially with this age group as Terry says, “As you get older you start to learn to see and express your identity more through what you wear and the decisions you make.” Using colour, textures and most importantly – sparkles, the kids will have the chance to let their personalities shine through in what they wear.

The high schoolers in KS3 (aged 11-16) are going to be writing identity poetry. Throughout history literature has played a major role in identity and self-expression and the LGBTQ+ community have often found comfort in poetry from modern pieces all the way back to Shakespearean times. From each class there will be a winning poet who will have their poem recorded and edited into one larger piece.

Finally, the sixth formers in KS5 (aged 16-18) will act as mentors. Children look up to those older than them, and often copy what they do, so who would make better role models than the LGBTQ+ support group at Ryburn Valley Sixth Form? The teens will to be writing their own poem and designing their own costumes which will inspire the younger children to take on their own projects.

“I think the overall idea is the younger we can start putting this kind of learning into the curriculum, hopefully it will eradicate any kind of bullying and in a way a need to raise awareness in diversity, it should just be the norm.”

The lesson plans are well underway, and the children have already embarked on their journey down the rainbow painted brick road. The creative tasks will take place at the end of the school year and the poems, pictures and costumes will be displayed at the Happy Valley Pride festival.

During May half-term Terry will find out how the lessons have been going so far and we will report back in a few weeks to see exactly what each year group has been learning and how the children are reacting to the program so far.

Tim Whitehead, Happy Valley Pride’s Artistic Director said,

“Following her appointment last week, I thought what a difference it would have made to me, as a bullied gay kid in school, to have had someone like Terry inspiring me and showing me that not only was I ok but that which made me different was something to celebrate and love.”



April 19, 2021 Malcolm Struthers0

The line-up for Calder Calling, our free online music event taking place on Sunday 25 April at 8pm, has been announced.

Hosted by our friend Sarah Courtney the night will feature

As if all that wasn’t enough the night will end with a set from our very own DJ Red Helen – and we have some extra surprises too!

The event is free to attend, just come here to our Facebook page and we will go live!

Join us for a wonderful night celebrating our amazing valley.


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February 16, 2021 Malcolm Struthers6

Sunday 28 February at 8pm.

Online on Facebook Live – Register – Age Recommendation 16+

Justin Vivian Bond (Tony nominated American singer-songwriter, Trans pioneer, author, painter, performance artist, and actor) in conversation with David Hoyle (English artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor, comedian and film director). 

Bond has an illustrious career and has starred in films including Shortbus and Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the TV series Ugly Betty. They have performed worldwide, headlining at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House and touring with Scissor Sisters and opened for Rufus Wainwright. A tireless campaigner for trans rights they pioneered the use of the pronoun Mx.

According to The Guardian, Hoyle’s performances have led him to become “something of a legend” on the London cabaret circuit. They stared in Velvet Goldmine and the acclaimed Channel 4 series Nathan Barley. He regularly exhibits his paintings and tours worldwide. Since the 90’s David has been changing the face of queer performance, his career has spanned cinema, television and award-winning live performances which have influenced so many performers after him.

This will be a candid, funny and insightful chat from two internationally renowned queer artists. 

Online on Facebook Live

‘Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-Atlantic cabaret messiah’ – Time Out.

‘Glorious, extremely funny and properly unique’ – The Guardian on David Hoyle.



February 9, 2021 Malcolm Struthers0

Happy Valley Pride has announced our Spring 2021 digital events. The line-up includes local performers, award-winning artists and international stars of stage and screen. 

All events are free, accessible to everyone, and broadcast on Facebook Live or Zoom. 

Happy Valley Pride celebrates LGBTQ+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas. Throughout the pandemic, they hosted numerous digital events with thousands of people joining in from their homes in Calder Valley and around the world. 

The Spring 2021 line-up includes:

Justin Vivian Bond and David Hoyle – in Conversation

Sunday 28 February at 8pm.

Justin Vivian Bond (Tony nominated American singer-songwriter, Trans pioneer, author, painter, performance artist, and actor) in conversation with David Hoyle (English artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor, comedian and film director). 

Bond has an illustrious career and has starred in films including Shortbus and Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the TV series Ugly Betty. According to The Guardian, Hoyle’s performances have led him to become “something of a legend” on the London cabaret circuit. They stared in Velvet Goldmine and the acclaimed Channel 4 series Nathan Barley. 

This will be a candid, funny and insightful chat from two internationally renowned queer artists. 

‘Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-Atlantic cabaret messiah’ – Time Out.

‘Glorious, extremely funny and properly unique’ – The Guardian on David Hoyle. 

FLUID – Celebrating Queer Identities in Spoken Word

Sunday 21 March at 8pm.

An evening of spoken word performances including Clare Shaw (‘fierce, memorable and visceral’ – Times Literary Supplement), and Andrew McMillan’s (winner of the Guardian First Book Award, Somerset Maugham Award, Northern Writers’ Award and more). The full line-up will be announced nearer the time.

Calder Calling – Music from the Valley

Sunday 25 April at 8pm.

An evening showcasing local performers, singers and musicians from Calder Valley. The set will be hosted by performer Sarah Courtney and includes Terry Logan (‘Original, celebratory and soulful’- John Garden, Scissor Sisters. The full line-up will be announced nearer the time. 

Happy Valley Pride Artistic Director, Tim Whitehead said:

“Happy Valley Pride will bring you some sunshine and light as we head into Spring. Our digital events, all of which are free to attend, showcase local talent and international performers. Please join us for unique perspectives, exclusive performances and a celebration of the arts and LGBTQ+ community.”



February 1, 2021 Malcolm Struthers0

Big news for Happy Valley Pride.

We are thrilled to let you know that the Charity Commission has accepted our organisation and Happy Valley Pride is now a registered charity. It means the world to us to have our work and charitable aims recognised in this way.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our LGBTQ+ community, without your support and enthusiasm we wouldn’t be here and we are incredibly grateful to you. This is a new stage in our development, not only will we be able to carry on creating fantastic work but we can now find new and exciting ways to support you.

Thanks too to our generous sponsors Hebden Royd Town Council, The Community Foundation for Calderdale, Arts Council England and The National Lottery Community Fund for their support of the LGBTQ+ community here in the valley.



December 24, 2020 Malcolm Struthers0

Announcing the newest member of the Happy Valley Pride team, Terry Logan, who joins us in the role of Youth Engagement Officer.

You may know Terry as a fabulous singer and performer. She is also Head Mentor Tutor at Ryburn Valley Sixth Form where she created one of the first LGBTQ+ support groups in Calderdale. The creation of this group empowered the students to run their own Pride week and present an LGBTQ+ musical theatre production. Terry also organised a Battle of the Bands competition for all the sixth forms in Calderdale, Tim Whitehead and Helen Baron from Happy Valley Pride were judges and they were blown away by the level of organisation and the scale of the event.

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Tim says, “Following her appointment last week, I thought what a difference it would have made to me, as a bullied gay kid in school, to have had someone like Terry inspiring me and showing me that not only was I ok but that which made me different was something to celebrate and love.”

Terry says, “I am honoured and excited to be working with Happy Valley Pride on a project that will help lots of young people explore their identity and create a more positive community where everyone can thrive in a safe, creative and fun environment.”

Education work has always been central to Happy Valley Pride’s mission to promote equality and diversity while celebrating LGBTQ+ life in the valley and we can’t think of a better person to lead our work with local schools.