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LGBTQ Things I Wish My City Had

I live in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, which is a smallish city in the North East of the United Kingdom and while the country is expanding rapidly in terms of accepting sexualities, giving equal rights for marriage and allowing pride events to happen, Sunderland seems to be stuck in certain areas. Which areas? Let me discuss it further.

Sunderland has a gay nightlife once a week (Tuesday nights, but I wish it were more nights, but that's a different post altogether), and we have a seven night gay scene in Newcastle we can depend on if we wish. But what if you're not interesting in going clubbing, getting drunk and dancing to chart music? In reality, there's not much to do that's LGBT focused.

So, what would I love to have the option of doing?
  • Book Club
    There's many people out there who are interested in books, whether that's reading and/or writing. And there's definitely many out there who love to read books with an LGBTQ theme, myself included. I know there's book groups out there, but after researching, they're not quite what i'm interested in. Without making stereotypes, they're mostly discussing books that are best sellers, in the book charts or novels, and while I do enjoy reading those books, i'd be more inclined in reading books that deal with LGBTQ characters, history and politics or those that have been written by known LGBTQ writers. It would definitely start some much needed discussion.

  • LGBTQ Discussion
    Now this would and could be as open as it's needed. I'd love to be able to gather with a group of people from my community and discuss things on an intelligent level, rather than the usual 'go-to' negative comments you get on social media. Topics would be so vast, you'd always have an interesting conversation; politics, views on the LGBTQ community, other countries positions on equality etc.. The list is endless!

  • LGBTQ History
    It's safe to say that the history of our community is lost in Sunderland. When I have had discussions in the past with people about our history and the people who stand up for us, 80% will bring up Lady Gaga and Madonna. You do get the odd gem in the bunch who know the likes of Harvey Milk, Ray Gosling, Jeremy Bentham, Cleve Jones, Anne Kronenberg and the legendary people at the Stonewall riots. I'd like to see these names become more of a general knowledge in our community, while keeping Gaga and Madonna as relevant as they need to be.

  • Movie Night
    No i'm not talking about showing pornography, i'm thinking more Milk, Before Stonewall, Paris is Burning, The Birdcage, Weekend, Female Trouble, Prayers for Bobby, Transamerica and the tragically brilliant Philadelphia.
Now those are just a few suggestions, i'm sure there's many more people would love to see, but I think the possibility of them happening are rather slim since Sunderland's scene is rather small. That being said, a guy can dream, right? And until then, I have friends I can discuss this stuff with, until there's a chance to branch out.