Monday 23 August 2010

Bristol Pride

It's been quite a Pride week in Bristol, and Saturday was the big day, with a march and a party in the park. I tagged along, and bumped into lots of friends, some of whom I'd only met online before.

There was a terrific mix of people there, some extremely flamboyant and eccentric, some looking dangerously like Normal People. All getting along very well together, and celebrating it being OK to be whatever they are. Which is sort of what Pride is about, isn't it?

This is what I wrote after we went to Bristol's Mardi Gras event in 2005. Big difference.

Well, Katie and I went down to the Bristol Mardi Gras yesterday. I'd explained what gays, lesbians and bisexuals are. As we cycled down the hill, she asked if a group of girls we'd passed were lesbians. "Impossible to say," I said.

The Canon's Marsh Amphitheatre was ringed with steel fencing for the occasion; we went in and wandered round feeling lost. Some people on stage were playing stuff from Rocky Horror. There were some drag queens. I looked at some gumph on the FFLAG (Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) stall and was blanked by the blokes running it. We left; Katie was rather upset. "I don't think they like women very much," she said. I was feeling alienated.

I really must get out more. 'Normal' people can be nice enough, but, as I've long since discovered, they don't really want me as a friend because I'm a nice, liberal, middle-class person* trapped in a freak's body, and it's uncomfortable for nice, liberal, middle-class people to think that about me, I guess... and then I go to this event and feel entirely out of place. Maybe I'll take up group knitting...
*well, OK, not that nice, liberal, or middle class, but you get the drift


  1. Humans are a strange lot, don't think I shall ever fully understand them!

    Caroline xxx

  2. I've hardly sampled the dubious delights of Pride Days. It's like going off to the Pink Punters or Sparkle - you mean to do it, but a year on you still haven't, and then one day it doesn't appeal (if it ever really did) and you know that you'll never go because you've 'moved on'. You're too feminised or mumsy or assimilated into the mainstream world to exhibit yourself; and if it's a question of Doing Something Publicly, you'd rather it be useful like Advising Some Committee, Campaigning Through Official Channels, or Giving A Talk on your creative work.

    I think I'm already post-Disco, post-Big Night Out, and post-Pride, even for the photo opportunities. And should I ever go near Milton Keynes it will be to visit Bletchley Park and absorb the wartime codebreaking atmosphere. I suppose I'd make an exception if a look-in at the PP were the only way to see certain friends, but I'd dress down.


  3. We all do what feels right for ourselves, I guess, Lucy. I don't go to Sparkle, or to trans nighclubs, because it is not my kind of thing. I don't live in some trans ghetto. But this was a chance to meet up and have a good time with other people, strangers and friends, L,G,B or whatever (there were even some cisgendered straights there, I rather suspect)who are OK with themselves and with other people. Which kind of makes them pretty nice people, I think. Maybe you had to be there.