Gay Pride is a day when people with peroxide blonde hair wear speedos whist blowing a whistle down Baker Street, an allocated day in the calendar you're allowed to be 'openly gay' on the streets of London. But it was once much more than a celebration of rainbow flags made in China: it used to be political.
Historically Pride was a rally that went past Greater London House, Houses of Parliament and Downing Street, usually the first Saturday in July to coincide with the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Its aim was to push for political change, equal rights and highlight our community as a force to be reckoned with. This weekend the march will go past Selfridges, H&M and Burberry, taking a sharp left on Whitehall before it could even think about mincing past Downing Street.
Pride in London . London Pride / Pride London (whatever its been rebranded as after years of dodgy accounts) has been on a slippery slope after Labour's pink focused reign. The placard queers who fought for abolition of Section 28, equal age of consent, employment equality, legal recognition of our partnerships and equal marriage have achieved everything they fought for. We're now left without a fighting political agenda, and are faced with the reformation of Pride and a generation of young LGBT people who have grown up with reasonable equality.
Pride may not be fighting for anything but globally there is still a lot to fight for. Pride in London doesn't celebrate the previous battles for equality waged by an older generation of queers. Gay pride in London has no spunk or drive, it is limp and frivolous when it should be passionate, caring, referential and progressive. It lacks a message that a community and sponsors can support, or even enthuse the next generation to have a sense of ownership...not to mention real pride. The idea of Pride is bizarre and bi-polar: "accept us because we're the same as you... but we're also different".
Before I lead you to believe Pride Day is a day of nothingness, Pride in London are planning making their voice heard on the issue of homosexual acceptance with a hashtag - #FreedomTo. I'm sure this sends a very strong message to those who throw ammonia in the faces of our brothers and sisters outside London nightclubs.
But my real beef is not with Pride but with the gays - a community whom I feel I have noting in common with. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth socialising with those whose online profiles read 'No Fats, No Femmes, No Asians'. No different to the signs that read 'No Black, No Irish, No Dogs' when my Grandad arrived in this country. I've never been accepted by 'the gay gays' - I don't look like them, wear the same clothes or listen to the music they listening to. I'm politically engaged, they like Madonna and that I think is the problem - to me the gays are they and not us. I am not them, they are other.
Pride for me is about exercising my equality and so I won't be attending the parade this year. I'm fine being a homosexual any day of the year, I don't need a whistle to prove it.