The side roads off Portland Street lead down to the Rochdale canal, where Canal Street forms the heart of Manchester’s thriving Gay Village: the pink pound has filled this area of the city with canalside cafés, clubs, bars and businesses. Always lively, the village is packed to bursting point during Manchester’s huge Gay Pride festival, which usually occurs on the last weekend of August. The village is closed off as thousands of revellers descend for music – big-name performers have included Beth Ditto and Boy George – comedy, theatre and exhibitions, all celebrating lesbian, gay, bi, and trans-gendered sexuality.

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