‘Camp Out’ event pitches up at Peninsula
THE RAINBOW flag waved proudly over Guernsey at the weekend as the LGBTQ+ community came together to celebrate the end of lockdown and show love and solidarity.
The first ever ‘Camp Out’ weekend was organised by the charity Liberate, and also coincided with the end of International Pride month and the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Lots of people showed up over the course of the weekend to take part in various outdoor activities in the grounds of the Peninsula Hotel, including yoga, Zumba, acoustic music, movies, a campfire sing-a-long, drag queen acts, face painting and performances by the Rainbow Chorus, the community choir of Liberate.
A pride flash mob also started learning the dance moves to Whitney Houston’s hit ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, so that choreographed, but unannounced, performances can be given in future.
The atmosphere was described ‘chilled, magical and joyous’, with the addition of lots of hand-washing and sanitiser.
Liberate’s chief executive officer Ellie Jones said it was a great opportunity to see everyone again.
‘We’ve had a lot of people who’ve felt really isolated during lockdown, especially with the younger LGBTQ community who might be at home with someone who’s not accepting of who they are or acknowledging who they are, so it’s just bringing everyone back into the extended family.
‘I do the LGBT work for the Youth Commission, so we have a lot of younger people who still live at home with their parents and they can’t escape the homophobic atmosphere that they might be in, so they’ve been stuck in that for the last three months, so they need that affirmation that there are others like them around, we exist, we're here, and we look after each other as a community.’
Liberate was heartened to see the big turnout at the recent Black Lives Matter march in Town and Ms Jones said the global conversation about equality and respect was moving in the right direction.
‘There’s a huge correlation between how the civil rights movement for LGBTQ people kicked off because the Stonewall riots were started by black trans women because of police brutality and oppression, so they’re very connected.
‘There’s a lot of social policy going through the States, it would have been nice if it hadn’t been rushed through at the very end of the political term, the discrimination legislation is going before the States for debate on 15 July so we’re encouraging everyone to come to the Royal Court building at the beginning of the day and stand on the steps and cheer on the deputies to encourage them to pass it without amendments.’