First ever Washington Out & Proud event a smash hit on Wearside

An event organised by a group looking to give a safe place for the LGBTQI community has been hailed a success.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 12:45 pm
Organisers and supporters of Washington's youth Pride event held at the Arts Centre.

The first ever Washington Out & Proud took place last weekend as Wearside youth group Rainbow Renegades planned and organised the first time event.

The event took place at Arts Centre Washington and featured lip-sync battles, mocktail classes and North East Bangshees drumming band.

The Mayoress of Sunderland Dianne Snowdon, who played a big role in helping with the planning, was in attendance along with the Mayor David Snowdon.

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Organisers and supports at the event

She said: “I was delighted to be able to help, setting up meetings with the neighbourhood police teams which helped make the event possible.”

Rainbow Renegades are based at Washington Mind and provide weekly support for people aged 13 plus.

The highlight of the day was the lip-sync battle with both young people and adults battling it out with a prize for both age groups.

PJ from the City Tavern in Newcastle won the over 18 prize and the amazingly talented Kai Findlay Alderson aged seven won the under 18 prize donated by Gentoo.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland open the event

Green Party Councillor Dom Armstrong was also at the event, and was delighted to have been invited along.

He said: “I was proud to attend, both as a representative of the Green party and Sunderland council.

“The event was really well attended and showed that events like this are necessary in Washington, encouraging inclusivity and supporting young people so that they don't feel alone.”

It was hosted by Pride Radio’s T Boys, with special guest drag queen Ophelia Balls.