Homotopia, the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival is stepping out this October and November with a belter programme serving us theatre, performance, spoken word, film and more. This year’s theme is Coming Out and, after a year and a half of being hidden away, it’s our opportunity to celebrate Queer talent, joy and love.

Jade Anouska, Rosie Jones, Family Vogue Ball and Dietrich Live lead the event, with Anouska – the artist in residence this year – offering her expertise through a performance workshop, a reading of her play HEART and an audio story on LGBTQIA parenting.

Another festival highlight sees Rosie Jones headline the acts for Queer, As In Funny, a night packed with comedy and surprises at the Capstone Theatre on Saturday 30th October.

Darren Pritchard Dance hosts Family Vogue Ball, drawn from the subculture of Ballroom originating in Black and Latin-American New York City. Four houses go head-to-head in a drag ball suitable for all ages. Crown the best queen based on their catwalk, moves and lipsync skills: the category is effervescence, hun.

Renowned cabaret and drag artist Peter Groom hosts Dietrich: Live in Liverpool, featuring vivacious icon Marlene Dietrich in St George’s Hall. The show will be a celebration of the actor-singer’s most famous numbers, including Lili Marlene, Lola and Falling in Love Again. Expect live instruments, cabaret and intense nostalgia.

Queer Santa’s flying in early this year with a premature holiday special from Jinkx Monsoon and Bendelacreme. The drag duo land in the Playhouse Theatre to give us everything we never knew we needed for crimbo with The Return of The Jinkx & De La Holiday Show this November.

There’s also a digital counterpart of the festival that’ll be up on the interwebs for those not quite ready to Come Out. Despite this year’s theme, Homotopia understands that not everyone yet has the luxury to enjoy events in the same way as before. But don’t panic, the online fezzy hosts Pearl Necklace, an absurdist queer sketch inspired by Round the Horne but catered toward Gen Z, recorded and broadcast in partnership with District and Despite The Monkey.

In addition, peruse an on-demand film selection of Queer shorts from around the world, which will be watchable for the entire festival.

Festival director Char Binns says: “Sadly, as we’ve started to come out into the world again, Liverpool’s city centre hasn’t been the most welcoming place for our community, with a summer marred by violent hate crimes. This year’s festival is a reminder that we’re here, we’re queer and we’re ready to combat any negativity by being even more loud, proud and extra fabulous.” So get involved, and be loud.

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