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YouTube stars to kick off Redbridge celebrations for LGBT month

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 January 2016

Members of the LGBT community marching for equal rights. Photo:Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

Members of the LGBT community marching for equal rights. Photo:Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Five of YouTube’s hottest young stars will descend on Redbridge to help kick off celebrations for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) month.

Mike Buonaiuto of Shape History a London-based campaigns agency that champions social change. Photo: Mike BuonaiutoMike Buonaiuto of Shape History a London-based campaigns agency that champions social change. Photo: Mike Buonaiuto

A programme of events throughout February has been planned by Redbridge Council.

Lifestyler Callum McSwiggan, performer Gary C, agony uncle and singer Roland West and Mike Buonaiuto from creative campaign agency Shape History, will form a discussion panel on Tuesday, February 9 at Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford.

Mike said it was important to recognise gender or sexuality discrimination happens every day in every country.

“In over 77 countries around the world it’s still a crime to be LGBT, and in many it’s still punishable by death,” he said.

“At Shape History we use digital tech and social media to bring these stories to the mainstream audience, but then work with charities and organisations that make sure these audiences can be turned into activists, and real world action can be taken.”

Classed as an “agency without borders” the organisation has run successful campaigns for the United Nations, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Macmillan, the Terrence Higgins Trust and the Canadian Cancer Society to name a few.

Mike aims to raise awareness and champion causes at the event.

Cllr Farah Hussain, for a fairer Redbridge, said: “We know that these people are some of the leading voices on LGBT matters on YouTube and their videos reach thousands of people every day.

“We are delighted that they have agreed to join us and we encourage everybody to get involved in this and all the other events taking place in February.”

A reading group will explore Patricia Highsmith’s acclaimed book “The Price of Salt” on Thursday, February 18 at Woodford Green Library, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green.

Originally published in 1952, the story’s happy ending was unprecedented in gay fiction and was later republished as “Carol” and turned into 2015’s Hollywood hit of the same name, starring Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett.

Lisa Mills will bring her Cher tribute act to Redbridge Central Library on February 26 to bring the celebrations to a close.

For further details on the events visit redbridge.gov.uk


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