Durham Pride – thoughts

Last year I wrote about Newcastle Pride and how I didn’t think it was my cup of tea. I returned to another Pride march this and this one took place in the City I was born – Durham. 

The pile of sick I stepped over in front of a Champagne bar in Durham might have been a foreboding to what I was going to experience throughout the day. I had travelled from my home into Durham city and made my way down to ‘The Sands’ which is a field next to the river Wear.

Durham Pride is in its infancy and we must take that into consideration. The fact that it was founded in 2014 and only has been running for 5 years makes us realise that this event does have a few problems and stuff that needs, in my opinion, ironing out.

I arrived about 2.30pm an hour and half after it officially opened to see some stall holders already starting to pack up. The event itself is only running for half a day from 1-6pm at The Sands. I thought it was a bit mean of those people who had decided to put their stall out to start dismantling things not even half way through the afternoon.

It was good to see organisations like Police, NHS and Samaritans get involved in promoting their cause and even local bus services had brought a vehicle designed in a LGBT theme celebrating pride.

IMG_9678

The music was okay I am not a huge fan of every song being the dance version of every hit you have ever heard. The queue for the bar was about ten minutes long and overall the prices where reasonable for this sort of event. The only thing that I thought was a bit steep was the price of a full bottle of wine at £18. Strangely I didn’t witness anyone take up this offer and people mainly stuck to pints or shots with a mixer.

At around 5pm people were leaving in droves and it was only when I was walking back to catch a bus home did I catch the headlining act (albeit via facebook live) of Sonique. They had decided to put her on about 5.50pm when the majority of the people had gone home.

I think overall people were happy with the event. It’s manly attended by the 16-30 crowd which is great if you are that age, but someone who is knocking on the door of middle age and reluctant to go inside, it does make me feel that once you have passed the milestone of thirty in gay terms you are in retirement.

There was nothing I could see for people past thirty we all aren’t interesting in drag queens and repeating infinitum the mantra that we are ‘having a good time’ at the host requests.

This for me is where Pride events fall down. The ageist opinions of not just the attendees but the mindset that people in organisation make invisible those who have experienced the 80s and 90s and have the grey hair to prove our non-existent status in LGBT world.

Good points – young people ready to embrace their sexuality and others willing to support them

Bad points – 15 toilets for 25 thousand. Not enough variety of food. Stalls packing up way before the end.

imageresizer

 

 

Advertisements

I am no fan of Pride

I have been to a few pride events and I have decided I am not a fan. There are many reasons why and I know that some might not agree.

I attended my first Pride march last year in Newcastle and the second was in Prague. Both great times and it was a great atmosphere to be experienced. What I don’t like about Pride is that they are always trying to recreate a club atmosphere but in the middle of a park.

IMG_2195

I hate clubbing. I was watching a documentary the other day about the rave scene in the late 80s I remember even back then I had no desire to stand and wave my arms around to music in the middle of an abandoned warehouse with a lot of people I didn’t know. I despised being charged a fortune to stand in the middle of THE hottest dance floor buying the most expensive drinks.

IMG_2211

So it took me to get the age that I am now to realise that pride events are very similar and I prefer the fringe events. I would rather sit and chat in a pub or read a book. Discussion on LGBT issues rather than listening to someone who was famous once 20 years ago and hasn’t had a hit record since.

The LGBT community has a problem with age. In a society where people are obsessed with youth and beauty eg. Tom Daley and treat older people with a cordial but patronising sigh when we think of people such as Sir Ian McKellen.

I will always support the need to highlight that we don’t live in a perfect country. There are countless places in the world that you can lose your life if you are gay. There should be more information about the struggle for acceptance and the support for those who lives are blighted by homophobic abuse.

Tom Daley and Lance Black

The hypocrisy of some people can be seen from space. There is casual homophobia and blatant prejudice and ignorance in a lot of people. 

Mr Daley and Mr Black announced that they would be welcoming their first child to their family a few months ago. It’s great that they feel that it is right that they can spend the time, effort and financial support it takes for starting a family.

Obviously, this didn’t go down too well with some parts of the press. The revolting Richard Littlejohn decried the idea of two men bringing up a child. The idea of this made him sick, apparently. His dismissal of two gay men bringing up a child is ‘not normal’ and that it ‘shouldn’t be so’. One then assumes, as he claims, not to be ‘homophobic’ he must have also condemned the following celebrity couples who have all used a surrogate?

Littlejohn

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy Juvenon, Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kelsey Grammar and his now ex-wife, Michael Jackson, Tyra Banks, George Lucas and his wife. I could go on and on. A list of those who have used surrogates is common place in heterosexual couples and gay ones too.

Mr Littlejohn compares the news of an imminent arrival of a new life and sharing this to the world the same as showing photos of a medical exam or even an illness. Which in itself is ridiculous as its celebrating a new life and not some medical procedure.

He states that he isn’t homophobic because he ‘supports civil partnerships’. Echoing the comparable mantra of – “I’m not being racist but …” He then digs himself further by calling the sharing of a sonogram ‘Publicity stunt’.

bthbfc996People like Mr Littlejohn are thankfully now in the minority. I was terrified to come out as gay in the 1980s for the fear of being labelled (that if I did come out) that I must have AIDS. Not even HIV+ but straight to AIDS. It was this ignorance that kept me from telling others who I truly was. I am glad I live in a country where I can get married to another man and that there are laws protecting my sexuality whether it be in the street or at work.

The article that lists the celebrities who have used a surrogate fails to mention the most famous footballer in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo. He has used surrogate mothers for  three of his four children. No one has batted an eyelid. Of course that’s a rich, heterosexual footballer – we can’t have a go at him.

The hypocrisy stinks. If there was anyone trying to court publicity and massage their own ego then its Richard Littlejohn and the revolting rag called the Daily Mail.

Christian Institute

I got a pathetic response but hey at least it was a response. 

This week parents of a pupil removed their child from a school because a boy wanted to wear a dress and be known as a girl. In 2017 it might seem laughable and trivial but to a Christian couple it meant disrupting a child’s education.

I remember being hauled into the head’s office at school to help deal with a pupil who had been bullied. He wasn’t getting support or receiving praise for being different but my boss at the time was berating him for bringing in a school back that was different.

“Why can you bring something in that’s like everyone else?” She asked.

“Because I want to be me and this is who I am…” he replied.

There wasn’t a ‘Glee moment’ where the head teacher congratulates the pupil for their individuality and praises them for being who they are but tries to solve the intolerance and bullying by denying one person’s freedom of expression. All in a school bag.

My thoughts are clear on my former boss. She was a morally corrupt and bereft of humanity and empathy. She didn’t give a shit about her charges but was terrified that the  whole system would come down crashing at her feet.

My letter to the Christian Institute asking to speak about why their news feed was unbalanced was finally met with a response.

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 16.19.33

Their opinion was that they just wouldn’t engage.

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 16.19.15

Despite my years of experience dealing with church matters and education in this area.

The parents action which no doubt will be backed by the Christian Institute to further their growing sense of victimisation. But this is just the very reason why so many people now say that they have no religion. They are turning away from established religions in many parts of the world. The church and their non-sensical illogical beliefs have isolated themselves from the world. They will soon be made of mainly fanatical fringe belief systems. Where once the Church of England was the back bone of English society and culture soon it will become nothing more than Westboro Baptist lite.

 

 

50 Years ago (Chika Amadi update)

My previous post was to get the Christian Institute to talk to me. In the mean time, even more hatred appears. 

What is it about Christians that believe in the literal translation of the Bible? I know loads of people, who I’m happy to call good friends, who are committed Christians. I happy to tell people that have friends who work within in the Church England or have done. Nothing wrong with that. As openly gay man I am happy to tell others of my experience of the Christian church and how it has had a profound affect on me.

Enter in Chika Amadi, who appeared on my twitter timeline this afternoon, and I am reminded again why we have Pride festivals in the UK. You can read all about her and her distasteful views. She is a person who is also a labour councillor for Harrow Borough. She is supposed to be a public servant. Someone who is there for everyone.

Not only does she express her abhorrent and vile views but she also gives warning to those who dare to cross her opinions and religious beliefs.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 18.15.22.png

If you are prepared to take her on, then you are prepared to provoke God’s wrath. This is a pretty huge claim to make so I look forward to my house being visited upon by locusts, boils, gnats and whatever her god can throw at me, when I call her an ignorant, selfish, naive, cretinous twat.

As she claims on her twitter bio she is ‘a legal advisor’ and ‘TV personality’. She must then be aware of the legal implications of making public accusations that are without wholly any basis or truth.

I am sure that it will be the ‘horrible liberals’ and their wicked ways that would have caused her to be suspended from her role as a councillor. Let’s see if justice will prevail.

Never been on a Pride march

img_6545

It should be on my bucket list, shouldn’t it? I never have been a march in celebration of my sexuality. In the 80s I joined the church and marched for Jesus. It was an interesting time to walk in celebration of something. But for your sexuality? I mentioned in the previous post about people who wanted a march for straight people.

IMG_9311.JPG

The above explains it better than I ever could. Straight people have never fought for human rights regarding their sexuality, to be acknowledged that they aren’t freaks or some medical curiosity. Beaten up or abused because of loving someone of the same sex. I acknowledge that not everyone is going to be happy or overjoyed at same-sex relationships but others don’t have the right to impose on people’s human rights.

I was called names when I was growing up, bullied by other pupils when I was a kid at school. They called me ‘poof’ and ‘bent’ it wasn’t regularly or intense, just by one or two lads you thought it was hilarious. Others probably had no idea, that I was gay, but it did leave a lasting mark. I know I was different and there certainly wasn’t a support network that is provided for young people in schools that there is now.

It seems that some people are deliberately provoking the LGBTI community or have a general lack of understanding and empathy for those us in minorities groups.  I just hope it’s ignorance rather than hate that is fuelling it.