I have just got back from the Manchester Pride Parade, and I have to say, this year’s parade was very disappointing, I felt – I’ve been to all of the parades since around 2003/2004 and this was the first to leave me feeling a bit deflated at the end of it…
The selection of float entries was outlandish (I am not sure why Housing Associations felt the need to ‘advertise’ their services – as I understand, if you approach the council, you have no choice anyway(!), and I’m not even going to go in to the new addition for 2012, Nandos!); the quality was not as great as in prior years (I guess funding must be tight, as many organisations that used to have a truck, for example, did not this year – perhaps a sad reflection on how much money is no longer available to the gay entertainment market/how fragmented funding is becoming); and the thing that angered me the most, several floats completely, and seemingly deliberately, shunned Max and I, who were clearly ‘together’, in favour of giving leaflets and stickers to the old lady to my right, and some random kid to Max’s left – one banner even said “you can adopt” but actually, judging by their reaction, it seems that only the old lady and also the single 12-year-old child could adopt, but definitely not Max or I – alienating the demographic that they’re supposedly trying to support!
There was the theme of gays in science this year, but bar a small image of Alan Turing on the back of the University of Manchester float, you’d never have guessed it.
I’m a massive supported of Pride, and of Manchester in general, but I couldn’t help but feel that the lack of atmosphere this year was coming from the floats themselves, with their largely unsmiling parade people, than from the people who had lined the streets in anticipation of their arrival.
The lack of representation in the Parade from the Village was very sad to see, and a lot of the larger groups who turn up to every Pride event in the UK just wheeled out the same old tired floats as in previous years.
All that said, I am still very proud that we have a Manchester Pride, and still think it is the best one in the UK, and it’s still staggering that the whole of the City supports the parade in the way that it does.
Here are a selection of some of the pictures that I took this year:
You can find the rest on my Facebook if we’re linked up 😀
Happy Pride everyone! x