Monday 1 June 2020

From Prides of the past to the future

Prides without marches
June is considered the Pride Month even though my local pride in Manchester is one of the last in the Europe, taking place in the last weekend of August that includes the last Monday as part of the August Bank Holiday in the UK.
I normally will only attend a Pride march but rarely the other activities, in Manchester, I only have to step out of my front door with a foldable chair to watch the march go past on my street. Berlin offers a better spectacle in July as I take a room in the Hotel Berlin Berlin that overlooks the march from at least the first floor. I might go to the Siegessäule or the Brandenburg Gate to see the performances for a few hours before departing for some quiet time.
Prides around Europe
Until last year, I had not missed a Berlin Pride usually known as the Christopher Street Day (CSD) in German-speaking countries in recognition of the Stonewall riots of 1969, except one other time in at least 12 years. It was like a pilgrimage of at least 4 days, sometimes longer, allowing me to do other things besides.
When I lived in Amsterdam, we celebrated in the first weekend of August, the Pride march on canal boats, I never vied to get on any of the boats because it was at least a 4-hour slug, however, it was always good to have a vantage position to view the colourful floats as they moved along with music blaring out of megawatt loudspeakers ready to deafen you.
At one time, I was in Playa del Ingles on the island of Gran Canaria, their Pride is usually the second weekend of May. Unfortunately, most of the Prides would be cancelled this year, about 500 on one count, some will be adapted to take place online as digital Pride events. [See link below.]
Prides of the future
In June 2016, I joined up with the Barclays team called Spectrum for the London Pride which we were a main sponsor of, it was the first time I had walked in a Pride march in the UK apart from being a spectator or going to park activities after the parade.
I cannot say what the world would become after the pall of this pandemic is lifted, the way we would manage crowds and marches for all sorts of celebrations and how life might change between the consideration of risk and damning the consequences. However, I hope that in the aftermath, we would all celebrate our common and diverse humanity.
There is a Pride march in the not too distant future that my husband and I would participate in, marriage is on the cards; it would be the joy of our lives for Brian and I to pose and say to the world, Happy Pride Month.

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