News - 13 September 2009 Manchester Pride August 21 - 31. Manchester Pride was a 10 day festival of LGBT culture, arts, film, sports, and heritage, culminating with the Big Weekend of celebration and partying over the Bank Holiday, and finishing on a more serious note on the Monday with a Candlelight Vigil in memory of those who have died of aids . Unfortunately, for the first time in 11 years, due to unforseen circumstances, we were unable to have a float in the parade on Bank Holiday Saturday. The theme this year was Heroes, and the colourful carnival of 100 floats wended its way through Manchester city centre to tumultuous applause and the atmosphere was amazing. If you missed the parade or you just want to see it again you can watch our fantastic Manchester Pride 2009 video Pride Heroes We were very touched to receive the following tribute to Manchester Parents Group from John Rhodes: With untold time, effort, and love MPG has helped make so many lives better in so many ways. For more than 20 years now MPG has gently offered support; It has fearlessly campaigned and endlessly amazed with its vigour, dedication, and determination to make a difference. Much has changed over those years, and so has the nature and emphasis of MPG's work. New campaigns about Homophobic Bullying in schools are starting to have genuine results in offering guidelines and support to children, families and teachers. But at the core of all this work lies the profound acknowledgment that they fight for the rights of all their children. The right not to live in fear or in shame; the right to be treated just same as their brothers and sisters; equal in all aspects and so very proud of who and what they are. Heroes? Everyone who has offered a shoulder to cry on or a sage suggestion; All the parents and families who have understood and accepted their children as a result; Everyone who has baked a cake, painted a float, helped in any of those millions of quiet and thoughtful ways Every one who has stood up and shouted what they believe in! Never forget you are all: Super...Mega...MPG...HEROES! Article in "Christianity" One of our mothers is very grateful to the magazine "Christianity" for publishing her letter which describes her son's extreme difficulties accepting his sexuality and his deep fear of rejection by family and friends, largely due to the Church's teaching about homosexuality. This letter was published as "Letter of the Month" in the August 2009 edition, headed "My Gay Son and the Church" and was rewarded with the gift of a book! "Christianity" is a right-wing evangelical magazine which, according to their website, has a circulation of thirty thousand. Oldham Conference Friday June 24. The "Protecting our Children: Tackling Homophobia in our Schools" conference was organised by the NUT and Oldham Borough Council in response to a union survey revealing that homophobic bullying is endemic in Oldham schools. Teachers, head teachers and education staff from schools and colleges throughout the borough attended the conference for training on how to deal with homophobic bullying in school. The keynote speakers were Jill Goodswen the NUT National Vice President, Jeff Evans the Oldham NUT Equality and Diversity Officer, Councillor Kay Knox, Cabinet Minister for children and young people, Paul Murphy chair GMP and Sue Sanders from Schools Out Young people from Gay Youth Manchester and Queer Youth Network played and important part in the proceedings, describing the effects homophobic bullying has had on their lives, and show casing their DVD "Our Learning Experiences" They were very powerful imparting to the teachers just what it means to be growing up gay at school and the devastating effects of homophobic bullying. The afternoon was taken up with workshops giving practical advice and training in dealing with homophobic bullying in both primary school and secondary school. Inga and Jane from Manchester Parents Group facilitated a work shop "A parents perspective on homophobic bullying" and also had an information stall The Conference ended with the summing up and discussion on the way forward. Hopefully everyone went home with lots of food for thought. LGBT Consultancy Day Saturday June 13. Chistine and Lois attended a LGBT Consultancy Day at Manchester Town Hall It was good to meet old friends and make new ones and to exchange information and ideas. There were interesting presentations and workshops about initiatives taking place in Manchester. Sexuality Day Manchester University Saturday June 6. Christine had a stall at the above event for students at the University. Our information booklets and leaflets proved very popular and useful contacts were made. Radio Interview May 26. Lois was interviewed on Radio Manchester about Manchester Parents Group and the work we do Latest News - 9 August 2009 Inga's article in Attitude magazine Inga was contacted by Attitude magazine about the work that Manchester Parents Group does for the Gay community. You can download a PDF of the Attitude article Latest News - 29 March 2009 GALIPS (Gay and Lesbian in the Prison Service) meeting March 26 2009. Inga gave a presentation about Manchester Parents Group and the work we do at the NW area meeting of GALIPS, a support group for Gay staff in the prison service. The meeting took place at Thorne Cross Young Offenders Institution at Appleton Thorne in Cheshire. After the presentation there was a question and answer session which produced some interesting and lively discussion.