If you’re arriving in Brighton for the first time this weekend you are in for a pleasant surprise: it’s Pride 2010! Brighton celebrates all sexualities, and from today you will really see them all, because it’s ’showtime’!
This is Brighton: it is different, it is special and this weekend it’s the Pride festival. So, who better to explain the delights and dramas of Pride than trustee Geoffrey Bowden, interviewed here:
Why does Brighton celebrate Pride?
Apart from the fact that Brighton and Hove has one of the largest LGBT communities outside London, it is a reminder that LGBT lives should be celebrated. The festival certainly does that, but it is also an opportunity to educate the wider community that prejudice against Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Trans people should not be tolerated.
Just what can we expect this year?
A packed parade with all aspects of LGBT life being celebrated, but also floats and walking tableau from a wide range of organisations showing their solidarity with the LGBT community, including the RAF, fire services, trade unions, political parties, the Coop, Barclays Bank and many, many more.
There will be all the much-loved features on Preston Park, including a main dance tent, the women’s performance tent, the Calibash and cabaret tents, the community area and two market areas (one family-oriented and the other catering for adult tastes). There will also be a giant screen so that those on the park early can see the parade, but also use the screen to broadcast messages during the day. An inter-faith tent will cater for those wishing to celebrate the spiritual side of LGBT life, while for those who like fun-fairs, these will be another familiar feature. And for those with disabilities, there is a viewing area on the parade route and there will also be an access tent on the park.
Still sometimes referred to as ‘Gay Pride’, how does Pride support the wider LGBT community?
The festival is a celebration of LGBT lives and Pride offers all the community groups a highly visible platform to show off their work to a wider audience. When funds are available, Pride also provides small grants to help as many of the community groups as possible.
In the past, some public events have been pretty ‘in your face’. Who decides just how far you can go?
Pride in Brighton & Hove is a charity run by its members through its trustees. We work closely with all the statutory authorities to make Pride safe and enjoyable for everyone. We cannot lay down rules about what constitutes good taste, but if aspects of what actually takes place during the day breaks the law, then the Police and our own security contractors will take immediate action.
Straight people love Pride too. What’s the appeal?
You would have to ask them, but judging by the comments on social networking sites and letters to local media, they enjoy the party atmosphere on the Park and viewers of the parade relish the colourful spectacle.
On the day, once all the work has been done, what will the Pride team do to celebrate?
Collapse in a heap! The team will have been working on the day for about 18 or 19 hours solidly and will probably not have the energy to do anything other than raise a weak cheer, before we trudge off to our beds. The important thing for us is that the community has a good time and if they do we will certainly celebrate that!