Monday, 21 July 2014

Pride - Bit of a mixed bag this year

So Saturday was Northern Pride, well so was Friday, and Sunday but those were a bit more music based and I don't fit the stereotype when it comes to music so I did as I have done ever since the first march in Newcastle and joined the march, this year since he wasn't working until 3am the night before Kev came along and got to experience Pride as an ally and to support me!

This year's outfit was Bondage Fairy inspired, I had initially planned on a red bra but it was nipple skirtingly low so I went with the blue one instead, kind of annoyed that it didn't quite look as red would have but well, I'm a chicken. Bock bock. Corset, tutu and wand loaned from Forever in Black, rope work by my lovely Mister. Stuck in flat shoes because while my sprain is now healed I didn't trust my right ankle not to play up if I was stuck in heels all day.

It was a little damp, which made it seem not as warm as it actually was causing my to end up with sunburnt boobs, Asda whacked some stickers on my cleavage before said burning and now I have white circles on my cleavage! 
One thing that disappointed me about this year's march was commercialisation though, some people from Nandos turned up with a massive banner that read "Peri Peri Pride", two stilt walkers and a guy dressed as a chicken (presumably because ha ha ha "gays like cock am I right?) and it really weirded me out because I don't see what Nandos has to do with being gay? I mean cool that they want to show their support and all, several companies turned out to show their support, some with banners that had slogans about equality and a small logo or company name in the corner, some with stickers, and some just had a couple of people turn up in their work uniforms to be part of the march, but when your banner is twice the size of anybody else's and actually blocks out banners that do have something to do with Pride and were made by LGBTQA groups then I just find that pretty gross really. Did we forget somewhere along the line why gay pride started in the first place? Surely gay pride should be about fighting for equality and celebrating how far we've come since the Stonewall riots, not blatant capitalism? People are being kidnapped and tortured in Russia, correctivly raped in the Middle East, murdered in Nigeria, do you think those people give a stuff about Peri Peri chicken or Burger King's "Pride Whopper"?

Speaking of whoppers haha, so yeah mid-march the guy with the Asda stickers decided to censor me!
After the march came what used to be (until this year apparently) known as The Pink Picnic. See before we had a march in Newcastle there used to be an annual gay pride picnic held in Leazes park every year, I never went because I wasn't aware of it and I wasn't out yet but one of my old youth leaders spoke quite highly of it. When the marches started they originally ended with the pink picnic, a few years back it was decided that people could no longer bring their own alcohol because it was a safety risk and they'd have to buy it on site instead, which I am pretty sure is not the reason (fairly certain that's because they can make money that way but they can also monitor how much is sold so I suppose that can kind of be forgiven), the year after that the end point was changed to Exhibition Park, and stuff like fairground rides started creeping in amongst the stalls offering information on LGBTQA friendly services, health and the musicians, drag acts and poets. This year people who brought food were told to either bin it or turned away, there was no warning of this anywhere. I had considered bringing my own food this year as the last few years the food prices had been creeping up but I ended up not brining any and was thankfully let in, but a lot of other people were pretty disappointed by this, mostly because no warning that this would happen was given. Apparently the vegetarian choices from the greasy food vans were pretty poor too. 

The stalls seemed really weirdly set out this year, and several of them seemed to have pretty much nothing to do with gay pride, but thankfully they were outnumbered by those that were. Picked up lots of information booklets, free pens and stress balls. Kind of disappointed that despite people feeding back that this is an issue every year that a couple of the surveys and mailing lists to sign up to still only had the options of "male" and "female" under gender and "straight", "gay" or "bisexual" under sexuality, you'd think that people would you know... Think that at an event specifically for LGBTQA people that there might be people who don't fit into the gender binary or sexualities other than straight and LGB there. Thankfully though there did seem to be less surveys with that problem this year.
Overall I mostly did still enjoy Pride, I just found it eerily commercial this time, I hope this changes next year.

Bonus creep shaming.
So when I woke up this morning I disovered I had a friend request and a message from this chap who's name I am not going to censor because fuck this guy and his lack of respect for women. Not sure how readable this screenshot will be so here's a copy paste of his delightful message:

  • Conversation started today
  • Liam Donaldson
    Liam Donaldson

    i dunno how ive come over your profile but i was working at pride yesterday and seen you, wow your tits are big hahaha x"

    Thanks so much for seeing me as a human being Liam and not as an object! Oh no wait, the other one. It's so nice to see professional conduct is alive and well in 2014. Put in a complaint to the Pride organisers, given that he said he was working (I'm unsure if he was an official steward, security -who I think we're an outside hire- working on a stall or one of the bars or what) I thought that I would bring to their attention of the sexual harassment panda in their mists. Yes I might have a bit of cleavage on display but that doesn't make it appropriate for you to find my Facebook profile and message me about it.

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