Sunday, February 23

AK Soufflé: Not just here for the ride

- August 15, 2017

souffle-pride souffle-pride1

I went on my first Gay Pride march at the age of 21, which makes this my fortieth year of standing up and being proud. Of course for many gay men and women, our transgender and bisexual communities and even those who are undecided, Pride is not a once a year event, it’s a full time stance, a lifestyle commitment. We live the life we have, not a life we have chosen but one I believe we are born with and many of us are lucky enough to be able to do that for the most part without problems.

A little over a week ago it was Brighton Pride, a massive event, an all encompassing event that has returned some of the key elements that made me march all those years ago. Part celebration, part protest – it was a joy! I turned up early to meet a good friend and he asked if I would help him carry a banner. I said yes and before I knew it I was with him and two gloriously outrageous drag nuns from the Bavarian chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, over here especially for Pride and joining Chris and I in leading the parade.

It’s a walk that I will never forget

It’s not a huge walk to Preston Park from the peace statue, but it’s a walk that I will never ever forget. The pavements were lined with fabulously bedecked people, people of all ages, from tiny babies to my generation and beyond. They were in places lined up so deep that from the road we simply could not see the back of the crowd. It was a sea of colour, a wall of sound and massive display that our beautiful city clearly embraces the LGBT+ world.

There were plenty of LGBT+ people not on the march but simply lining the route but for the most part these were our friends from the world so clumsily now referred to as heteronormative, we so need another word to describe that don’t we!

I high-fived, not something I often have recourse to, and I chanted and sang and for those few hours I felt a tidal wave, no a tsunami of love as the people of our amazing city expressed themselves, an expression of acceptance and of joy. This was a vision of a real equality that we one day must reach, where the word becomes redundant because we no longer need to use it. We are all equal.

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