The idea of GLBT Pride means a lot to me. Partly because I'm something of an activist, partly because my queerness is hidden a lot of the time, and partly because I feel the need to pay tribute to my queer history. It's still not that easy to be openly gay or bi, but it's a lot easier than it was 30 or 100 years ago, thanks to the efforts of other people who've gone out and made a protest through sheer volumes of numbers.
I don't think I'm feeling healthy enough to do the march (I did it two years ago, and it's a long walk), but I would very much like to watch, and cheer, and blow bubbles at the parade with the most excellent bubble blower that Marcus and Cath got me for my birthday. But if I stand on the sidelines with Richard, I get mistaken for a random straight ally - or even a random straight passer-by - and that's horrible. I'd like to find some other queer folk to stand and cheer with.
None of the Friday night folk seem to want to go. This is because most of them are older than me and many of them have been involved with the politics over the past few years. Pride used to involve a big parade and then a free festival - now the festival is called Mardi Gras, costs £15 to get in, and seems to be solely about providing Top Ten boy-bands for the middle class gay white male to scream at. People feel ambivalent about attending the London Pride when it's been commercialised and there's other Pride events around the country that they'd enjoy more. Which is fair enough. I feel differently. I live in London and I identify strongly as a Londoner. With rumours around that our Mayor of London wants to introduce a partnership register that will be available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, I'd like to go out and show myself as a statistic.
Tomorrow I'm going to go and pick up queer papers and try to find out what's going on, and I'll get some t-shirts and things so as to be demonstrably not straight. I hope I'll be able to find other people to stand with as the parade is a lot of fun, but if I don't, never mind.