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Kirsti Louise Jones

Kirsti Louise Jones

Views on Birmingham Pride

What to expect from Birmingham's Gay Pride weekend, from the revellers' perspectives.

Birmingham Gay Pride returns to the city on 24 - 25 May 2008, and it promises to be big despite the cancelled parade. So what's Gay Pride like?

Kirsti Louise Jones, 22
Acocks Green, Birmingham

"I think Birmingham Pride is a brilliant event for everyone, as some people have different views on the straight, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"Just because someone isn't like everybody else, it doesn't mean they are any less of a person, and I think Pride shows people what it's all about. It's a great way of having a laugh and getting on with all sorts of different people."

Richard Keddie

Richard Keddie

Richard Keddie, 32
Central Birmingham

"Pride is a celebration of gay culture in this great city. It's a meeting of a particular subculture that is recognised and accepted in the 21st century.

"As manager of a novelty gay store, we will be out in full force during Pride, with a stand in the Village, so everyone should come around and have a prowl. It will be a great day for Birmingham."

James Lewis

James Lewis

James Lewis, 20
Solihull, West Midlands

"As I have a few good mates who like to go to Birmingham Pride, they introduced me to it about a year ago. I must say I did rather enjoy it, and this festival has shown me a variety of things, especially how to accept others for who they are, what they are and also not to victimise people because they are different.

"This year, I will be attending with a large group of friends, showing support and understanding to those who are different and accepting who they are. There are plays to look forward to, activities, amusement rides, stalls, drinks, and of most of all socialising with others - that's the best part of Pride, I must admit..."

Jeffery Driscoll

Jeffery Driscoll

Jeffery Driscoll, 28
Birmingham

"Birmingham Pride is a chance for people of all backgrounds to come together and promote acceptance, love and support for diversity. It is a chance for old friends and acquaintances to get together, and to meet new people in celebration of our achievements and acceptance. It is also a chance to remind us to challenge ourselves to accept others from all backgrounds, and attempt to ensure others do as well."

Andrew Donaldson, 20
Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham

"Birmingham Pride is a great way to meet new people from all over the country and in our local communities. I have been going to it over the past three years, ever since 2005.

However, I have to say that it has got worse and worse over the years. It has lost its core values of what Pride is all about. I see Pride as a means for the LGBT community to celebrate their choice and decision on who they are- a chance to express their true selves.

Andrew Donaldson

Andrew Donaldson

"Unfortunately, many people see this event as a way of just getting drunk, which is a shame because that's not what Pride is all about. Also, I have to say how disappointing it is to see the parade not taking place this year. I would like to see, however, the LGBT community marching up and down the streets of Birmingham.

"We don't need money to express ourselves out on the streets of Birmingham. This year I am not getting involved so much with Pride. I'm planning to go out on the Saturday night, purely to catch up with my friends and maybe make some new ones."

Deanne Heaven, 19
Edgbaston, Birmingham

"I didn’t attend last Pride as it was very wet so am hoping this year is better. I was introduced to the weekend by my friends a couple of years ago and it has quite a carnival atmosphere.

Deanne Heaven

Deanne Heaven

"People have their misconceptions about the event, but it's a whole mix of people who come together to celebrate their ability to tolerate those around them. I have met many new friends in Birmingham's Village, and even met my boyfriend there!
The principle behind Pride is one which equally applies to most communities in the city."

Twiggy,
Birmingham Gay Village

"Pride for me is a chance to see friends who I normally only see around that time of year.

"It's a great way to publicise "the cause", meaning that we get to stand up and be counted as members of society, not just seen as a gay community. We have semi-equal rights, but are still forgotten or left out when it comes to areas being developed in gay villages.

Twiggy

Twiggy

"For example, local governments put money into entertainment districts to encourage tourism in cities, but the gay areas are expected to pay for their own. I dislike the fact that the organisers shove out many acts they feel we may enjoy. To me, that’s a way of preventing my participating in the event.

"Eleven years ago the headline act at Birmingham's first ever Gay Pride event was Brotherhood of Man… eleven years later they are still performing! It appears that we are given rejects from The Eurovision Song Contest as a form of entertainment.

"Not everyone is happy with the choices of the organisers. Failures from TV shows, even the winners, are not what the majority of people want. There is a vast amount of people in attendance who do not consider the headline acts appealing. There should be alternatives to please everybody.

"I have some costumes on display in Selfridges again this year to remind people of Pride and I work all-year round in the bars and clubs to do what I can to offer something different entertainment-wise. I'll be out and about over the weekend enjoying myself as much as possible. I'll be helping to promote the gay scene in Birmingham as I always have done, and look forward to continuing to do so.”

last updated: 06/08/2008 at 18:59
created: 22/05/2008

You are in: > Views on Birmingham Pride

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