A CHILDREN’S play centre is staging a Pride party as part of the wider LGBT celebrations, the BBC reports.
Sea Life Play Centre is throwing the party in partnership with organisers of Southampton’s main Pride event, which attracts support from across the region.
Children up to 12 years old were invited to the “rainbow morning”, which was set to finish in time for people to join the city centre parade.
Organisers of Pride said they wanted children to be able to engage with the LGBT community.
The party will be held at the play centre in The Marlands centre and will feature entertainment including face-painting, temporary Pride tattoos, flag making and rainbow painting.
Jay Edwards-Bannon, from Southampton Pride, highlighted the importance of children being able to engage with the LGBT community.
He told the BBC: “Early engagement with LGBT+ education is vitally important for us to move to a more welcoming and accepting society.
“Children and young people are growing up in the most diverse and inclusive communities ever and it is important that an understanding of the differences they may encounter in the families of their friends and peers is taught at an early age.
“The event will coincide will really well with our own extended Kids Zone at Southampton Pride itself.”
Event organiser Sarahjane Selley said it would be a “cute event” and a chance for children to be involved.
Miss Selley said the event had initially received some negative feedback, but: “Once we officially announced the party we got fantastic comments through from parents.
“We’ve been holding a number of free events for ticket holders to help during the cost of living crisis, so that kids can enjoy their school holidays.”
She added: “It’s going to be a very colourful, cute, messy event and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
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