Virgin Media O2, the newly merged media company, are to fund a special heritage event to help bring LGBT+ people in Fife together this summer.

The company is backing local charity, Pink Saltire, for their ‘Queering The Map’ event, to be held in Kirkcaldy town centre on Sunday 4th July – also national Thank You Day!

The charity will be inviting locals to contribute to a community generated mapping platform, creating a collective of LGBT+ experiences from Fife for future generations.

First launched in 2017 by Canadian artist and designer, Luca LaRochelle, ‘Queering the Map’ was initially a class project but soon expanded with users from all over the world contributing special memories or places important to them. The virtual map has grown to an estimated 80,000 submissions in 23 languages.

Pink Saltire will be hosting a stall in the car park of their new premises, just behind Kirkcaldy Bus Station, and the group hopes locals will share experiences which have helped shape their identity, such as their first kiss, first Pride event or coming out stories.

Similar events have been held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayrshire and Dundee and Fifers will now have their chance to add to the map, helping demonstrate the rich diversity of the Kingdom.

The event is funded by newly merged telecoms giant Virgin Media O2

Dom Miller-Graham, one of the project coordinators, said:

“This is a significant opportunity for the LGBT+ community in Fife to record the places that matter to them and to contribute to a global record of experiences significant to us as LGBT+ people – which are often neglected and or erased.”

“It’s also a chance for us to say Thank You to all our supporters and volunteers who have helped the charity through these difficult months of the pandemic. We’ll have some freebies to giveaway and it’ll be so nice to see people in person again!”

Funding for the event comes from Virgin Media O2’s new Together Fund, which saw £500,000 invested in community groups around the UK to help champion and celebrate community spirit, belonging and togetherness. The Fund forms part of the company’s support for the Together Coalition which aims to bring people together to help build a kinder, closer and more connected society, culminating in Thank You Day!

Lutz Schuler, CEO of Virgin Media O2 said:
“As one of our first acts as a new business, we’ve created a fund dedicated to supercharging hundreds of community-based charities that are already doing incredible things.”
“Our broadband and mobile networks already connect millions of people across the country, but as a business we’re committed to doing more to bring people together, accelerate positive social and environmental change and promote a sense of community belonging as we push ahead with our mission to upgrade the UK.”

Fife’s Queering the Map event will be held outdoors at 10 Whytescauseway (just behind Kirkcaldy Bus Station) on Sunday 4th July, from 1pm til 4pm. The event is free to take part and open to everyone.

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