So I did it, I plucked up the courage and got off my fat ass and went. A nice day really but it was amazing to see a mixture of young and old, families and singles out enjoying the day. Growing up in the 80s, all I knew about being gay was AIDS. That was it. No support groups or Pride events in the northeast. Even in the 90s, I ventured into a bar, which was dark and seedy only to leave after one drink as someone had pulled a knife on someone else.
There was security at this event bags were checked. Checking for those hoping to smuggle in cheap booze rather than for anything sinister. The music had more cheese that Edam and people seemed happy enough to lap it up. One good thing they kept the price of alcohol to a sensible level. These sort of outdoor events seem to attract blatant profiteering rather than enabling people to have a good time.
So I wondered and ate something and then wandered again. Then after a while, I realised it was 7.30pm and most people were leaving. My body was aching and legs weren’t too happy. It’s been a long time I stood around in a field full of gay men.
It was nice to share an afternoon with people who aren’t straight. It’s a privilege to be able to celebrate diversity without the fear of being arrested or beaten up. We still have a long way to go in this country while others haven’t even left the starting block on LGBT rights.