Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 09.38.25The physical and emotional needs of gender diverse communities – sometimes known as transgender or trans – is set to play a key role at one of the UK’s largest, free LGBT festivals.

Newcastle Pride 2015, which returns to Newcastle Town Moor from Friday July 17, will include three days of live entertainment and events, celebrating 45 years of world Pride.

For the first time, the festival’s Steve Paske Health Zone (SPHZ), which will be open on Saturday July 18, is placing a significant focus on the health and wellbeing of gender diverse communities.

Workshops and training exercises will be held throughout the day, offering members of the public the chance to learn more about gender diversity, as well as gender identification and reassignment.

There will also be an opportunity for visitors to access free STI testing, try complimentary therapies and get advice and information  on everything from nutrition and food issues to weight management, fitness and drug and alcohol abuse.

Tara Stone, Chair of “Be” (Formerly Tyne Trans), which is working in partnership with the SPHZ for Newcastle Pride 2015, said, “gender diverse people still face many challenges in accessing services.

“We’re hoping that the Steve Paske Health Zone at Newcastle Pride this year will help to make that a little easier and begin a process of raising awareness that can continue for years to come.”

As well as the Steve Paske Health Zone, sponsored by MESMAC North East and SHINE, Newcastle Pride 2015 will also boast a number of other targeted areas, including a cabaret tent, family and youth zone and women’s zone.

These will be open at the Town Moor throughout the weekend, coinciding with high profile performances by a host of acts including B*Witched and Belinda Carlisle.

Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, which organises the annual event, said: “Newcastle Pride 2015 is celebrating 45 years of world Pride by encouraging ‘One Love’ and acceptance for everyone.

“We hope that activities at this year’s Steve Paske Health Zone, as well as the wider three-day festival, will help to open up communication and promote greater awareness and understanding of gender diversity.”

For more information about the Steve Paske Health Zone and a full line-up for Newcastle Pride 2015, visit www.northern-pride.com or search northernprideuk on Facebook and Twitter.