My grandma texted me while I was at Bristol Pride; glitter-clad, watching Bony M next to two men dressed head to toe in leather. I think she would have had quite a nice time.
The sheer variety of people entering the space at Pride is remarkable. It allows the sight of a young family picnicking next to a very toned man in a latex catsuit to be so normal it’s hardly a sight at all. This a day out for all types of folk nowadays, and while it’s easy to be distracted by the costumes, you need to remember that that man, over there, the one in the crotchless leather sheriff outfit, he’s not here to entertain you.
It is important to remember for us heterosexuals that we are entering this LGBTQ+ space as a guest; this is their space, so don’t hog it.
The fact is – this is not just a party, this event is borne from the protest. The Stonewall Riots of 1969, making this a 50 year anniversary.
No good party guest goes around giving unsolicited hugs to guests they don’t know, nor touches someone’s clothes/hair/body/Donald Trump mask without asking. They’re in a dress, yep, your feely hands don’t need to check that.
As Pride month has progressed I have noticed an increasing amount of Capitalizing on Gay Rights, with big companies selling themed and limited edition products. A drag queen addressed this to the crowd, suggesting Tesco bring out a Pride t-shirt with a willy on the front and ‘every little helps’ on the back. We laugh, we laugh because this is no place for crying. We cry because the very same opposition that existed in 1969 exists today. But here’s the thing, members of the LGBTQ+ community, you are not alone. Still refining our party guest etiquette, many members of the hetero and cisgender community stand by you as allies, for all twelve months of the year.
Bristol Pride, I loved basking in the safe, open space that you offered and celebrating your wonderful self-acceptance.
So I replied to Grandma, ‘I’m at Pride, with friends. Miss you, enjoy the tennis.’
Words Sarah Harrington
Images Bunny Shepard