London (gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, transexual…) pride is this weekend. It turns out that there’s been a fortnight of festivities, which I’ve managed to miss. I would have missed news about this altogether had I not been in a lesbian bar the other evening and saw a poster saying (in small writing) that Big Gay Out is on a different day to the pride march this year. Sarah and I don’t really spend much time in gay venues and aren’t at all (it turns out) tapped into the London gay scene. But it still came as something of a surprise to realise that this march is happening in such a low profile way. Normally, the combination of the commercial festival in the park and the march means advertising on the tube to draw the whole thing to my attention. This year, I’ve just seen advertising for the festival in the park and had assumed the march was on the same day as normal. Incidently the posters on the tube all just have pics of men on them – where are the dykes, people?
As a rule, I always go on the march, and occasionally cough up the cash to go to the park. To me, it’s way more important to make a statement about equality and visibility than it is to get drunk in an enclosure with lots of gay people. I’ll be interested to see how many turn up on Saturday without the lure of a big party after (although there is a thing in Trafalgar Square in the afternoon and lots of venues are doing things in the evening). As it turns out, this Saturday is also Live8, and the pride march is starting at Hyde Park, where Live8 is happening. I think it’s gonna be one surreal day.