Sixteen paving slabs with the LGBT+ flag have been laid in Leeds Freedom Quarter by Leeds City Council.
The paving stones have been twelve months in the making according to local radio presenter and owner of Bar Fibre, who suggested on Twitter that the slabs were a sign that people can be proud to walk through the quarter.
“Leeds gay quarter has officially been stamped with LGBT+ paving slabs. I remember the days when we would have to avoid eye contact with someone who might see and shame us for walking in the gay area, we now hold our heads high and proud.”
Leeds gay quarter has officially been stamped with LGBT+ 🏳️🌈 paving slabs. Thanks to @LCC_business @JohnSiskandSon
I remember the days when we would have to avoid eye contact with someone who might see & shame us for walking in the gay area, we now hold our heads high and proud pic.twitter.com/nvZKNsqRy9
— Terry George (@TerryGeorge) February 15, 2022
The slabs can be found in the area between The Calls and Lower Briggate, which is known as either the Gay Quarter or the Freedom Quarter amongst locals after the Freedom Bridge, which has been painted in the pride flag for the past five years. The modern Pride flag has been used as part of the design on the slabs.
The unveiling of the new slabs also coincides with LGBT+ History Month, a month long celebration of LGBT+ history. This year, the theme is ‘Politics in Art: The Arc is Long’, which refers a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”.
With this in mind, the artwork laid upon the streets of Leeds is one step that the city is making to show its inclusivity, but it only makes up one of the activities and events in Leeds during LGBT+ History Month.
There’s the Leeds’ Hidden Queer History Tour and a LGBTQI+ Postcard Exhibition at Aire Place Studios in the city centre, meanwhile the Parkinson building at the University of Leeds will be lit up in the rainbow colours on Monday 28 February to mark the University’s role in promoting LGBT+ inclusion and create an open, inclusive environment for all.
Today marks the first day of LGBT+ History Month 🏳️🌈
— University of Leeds (@UniversityLeeds) February 1, 2022
Elsewhere the Pride of Place will be holding a series of workshops exploring themes surrounding multigenerational, accessible and affordable LGBT+ affirmative housing scheme in Leeds and Breaking the Binary: an online exhibition about being non-binary in Leeds is an excellent resource to learn more about the importance of LGBT+ History Month. It includes a glossary, a photo gallery as well as links to resources, charities to support, and queer friendly places to visit in Leeds.
Feature Image- WikiCommons