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In the Name of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Pride.

August 11, 2011

Photo By Angus Stewart

With only two days to go before Brighton’s LGBTQ Pride hits the streets, with people either choosing to stay at home, pay to go to the organise event in the park, gather in one of the other parks, hit the beach or congregate in the ‘Gay Village’ up and down St James Street. Although the weather forecast is not looking that great at the moment, but hey you never know it might just break out into sunshine just for us on the day.

I personally wish everybody a fantastic time over the weekend and truly hope that the park will be a success. If we look back on the first prides at the message of equality we were demanding for I think we can safely say that we have come a long way and should pat ourselves on the back. If the park does return a profit and manage to give funds to the LGBT good causes then that would be brilliant. It is without doubt there will be some things that don’t work, but next year they can be changed and improved upon.

My only gripe is the way the event is being advertised. Walking through the streets of Brighton I have seen several big banners advertising ‘Pride’ with the theme “Out of this world”, along with a host of big sponsor’s logos dominating the space. If I didn’t know that Saturday was a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer sexuality lifestyles I would never have got that message from the banners with their four super heroes beaming down at me. Would it have been too much to ask to have the two male super heroes and two female super hero hugging each other or at the very least holding hands? At a push you could say that the female character hugging the male character are bi-sexual but the reality is this advertising gives no indication that Saturday is an LGBTQ event.

This morning I was listening to my local radio station were an advert came on all about Pride weekend. “There will be entertainment, quality stalls, food and of course plenty of liquid refreshment”. I waited for any mention of it being in any way connected to the LGBTQ community, but not a word to that effect.

From today onward many of the pubs, shops and eateries will be plastering their shop fronts with rainbow flags and balloons, with only a small minority really understanding what the colours in the LGBTQ rainbow flag represent other than cash in their tills. Okay here’s a quick history lesson on the flag’s origin, which way to hang it and the meaning of those colours.

In the early 1970’s the gay movement had reclaimed the pink triangle (a symbol used in the Nazi concentration camps to identify people as gay) as their symbol of power and solidarity. In 1978 artist and gay activist Gilbert Baker designed a new symbol in the shape of the LGBTQ community rainbow flag, with each colour representing the community as a whole: red (light/life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (calmness/nature), blue (art/harmony), and purple/violet (spirit). Pink and turquise were removed to help with mass production, but now printing is much easier and cheaper there is now talk about bringing these colours back.          The colour red should be at the top or to the left, depending how you’re swinging it!

Of course, when we all take to the streets of Brighton dressed in leather, feather or whatever blowing whistles, waving banners and cheering on the various LGBTQ community groups and organisations it will be clear to all that we are celebrating the fact that we are either, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer with pride. All I ask is that next year our day has these simple but important words lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer within the title of the banners and on the adverts blaring out of the radio.

Until then Happy lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer Pride everyone, look out for each other and enjoy it which every way you decide to celebrate it.

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