HAPPY GAYS ARE HERE AGAIN; Homotopia festival will be biggest ever.
LIVERPOOL'S gay festival has been extended to run for three weeks this year.
Homotopia has been expanded with the launch of Queercore which aims to give artists the chance to create new work during the festival and beyond.
Organisers are promising parties and premieres during the event which opens on November 1.
Homotopia has benefited from a new three-year funding deal from the festival's key supporter, the Liverpool Culture Company.
More than 70events, from theatre, film, workshops, art, heritage, live music, club nights, dance and cabaret are on the programme.
They include Nigel Charnock and Company, Fierce and Quarantine, dance company Bare Bones, anew work by award winning theatre company Truant, the Lavender Club with its unique brand of comedy, music and stand up.
Super club Federation will give a party while Liverpool women's music festival, Wimfest, makes a special appearance this year.
There will also be a special event with Holocaust survivor Janni Kowalski.
Festival director Gary Everett said: "In future years it is our hope that Queercore will become the lifeblood and creative artery of Homotopia.
"The scope, wealth and sheer depth of artistic talent in Liverpool is a jewel in the city's crown and something that Homotopia is proud to be associated with."
Homotopia started as a small pilot festival for the lesbian, gay, bi sexual and transgender community in 2004.
This year's event is partnered with the Unity Theatre, Outsiders Film Festival and newly-formed Our Story Liverpool which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to research and document the hidden histories of LGBT Liverpool.
For more details on the 2006 festival and on Queercore, visit www.homotopia.net
HOPE: Gary Everett