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Monday 4 October 2010

BBC Archive: the Gay Rights Movement Collection

BBC Archive page about the gay rights movementThe BBC Archive has put together a terrific page with 30 audio and video recordings about the ‘gay rights’ movement. They span more than 40 years — from 1957 to 2009.

Quite a number are complete programmes that are more than 25 minutes long.

What a great resource.


Filed under: Gay,History,LGBT,TV & film — GS @ 6:09 pm
Monday 13 September 2010

Misleading statistics and misconceptions about the gay community

Much of the gay world is driven by misleading statistics and misconceptions and rather ‘woolly’ thinking. This suits some people down to the ground.

Facts and figures are exaggerated and misrepresented for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes due to ignorance and silliness or with the best of intentions. Other times deliberately for profit, to get funding or to grab or hold onto control of an event or organisation.

Some do it to present a picture that better suits their upbringing and view of life and because of a desperate urge to ‘fit in’ and be no different.

A few years ago I realised how the organisers of Manchester’s August Bank Holiday event (currently known as Manchester Pride) had consistently misled the public about attendance figures over the years. Particularly the crowd numbers at the Saturday parade. They published vastly-inflated figures that were physically impossible and so did the media.

I began to wonder what else are we being misled about?

(more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 4:26 am
Sunday 5 September 2010

Gay village residents mount legal challenge over street closure during Manchester Pride

I understand that residents in Manchester’s gay village area have mounted a legal challenge over the closure of streets during the annual Manchester Pride ‘Big Weekend’. Since 2003 the area has been fenced off over the August Bank Holiday — from Friday evening until the early hours of Monday morning. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:16 pm
Thursday 2 September 2010

Manchester Pride parade 2010 (video)

The first part of last Saturday’s Manchester Pride parade.

Drag queen Hilda Ogden on the Coronation Street float at Manchester Pride 2010

I’ll put up the rest when I have time. Editing and encoding long clips takes ages! (more…)


Filed under: Fun,Gay,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 5:00 pm
Monday 30 August 2010

Canal Street — August Bank Holiday Monday 1990

I shot these photographs exactly twenty years ago today, on August Bank Holiday Monday 1990. This is how the Manchester Pride that we either love or loathe started off (although the word ‘pride’ wasn’t used in the name until 2003). (more…)


Filed under: Gay,History,Manchester — GS @ 2:06 am
Thursday 26 August 2010

Manchester Pride accounts: 2007, 2008 & 2009

If you would like to snoop into the accounts of Manchester Pride you can find them here on the Charity Commission website.

(more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 12:11 am
Monday 23 August 2010

Queeruption — opening party and base camp

Yesterday late afternoon we left the Peace Garden in St. Peter’s Square and walked along to Rusholme for the Queeruption Opening Party.

Apparently the original plan was to host it in an old building, but that fell through and the replacement was Saki Bar which is on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Moss Lane East. It’s a grubby and run-down venue in a building that, not many years ago, was a branch of Barclays Bank. Back in February it was reported that it had lost its licence because it showed a ‘blatant lack of concern for its neighbours’.

I would like to write something positive about the Opening Party but it’s going to be difficult.

One person who had travelled from elsewhere in Europe for Queeruption was livid to discover the event was in a commercial venue: ‘this is not what I came here for,’ she told me and other people expressed similar concerns.

When so much of the gay scene centres around alcohol, can any night in a club buying expensive drinks ever really be considered ‘alternative’ or inclusive, whatever entertainment is put on? When asked, on the Queeruption Facebook page, about people who might have little or no disposable income, the response from one of the organisers was: ‘who goes for a night out without any money?’. So some might say a former bank was an appropriate venue.

At Get Bent! in 2007 one or two events were held in a bar and club but most were in alcohol-free spaces — a good balance.

The bar is located at the beginning of the ‘curry mile’ and the entrance is shared and overlooked by a cafe where Asian men hang out. If you happen to be gay and Asian this may not be somewhere you feel comfortable.

Going in you were hassled for a donation and had your hand stamped as if you were cattle. Entertainment was up two flights of stairs, so tough luck if you couldn’t manage to climb those. The sound system (provided by Queeruption) was poor. I could hardly make out what was said much of the time I was up there. But I didn’t hang around for long as there were only a couple of chairs, so nowhere to sit as you watched.

Performer at Queeruption 2010

One performer made me laugh when he claimed a well-known but not exactly well-loved local politician had given him a sexually transmitted disease. He certainly had his act off pat. However all deserved a much better location.

Many of the usual-suspect hipsters who to tend hang around at Contact Theatre and similar venues were there getting sozzled on booze. When does ‘alternative’ just become a marketing strategy to attract people to another night in a ‘vertical drinking‘ establishment?

Two of us went over to Tesco, bought some food and water, and sat at a picnic table at the rear of the building chatting.

Then at about nine o’clock about ten people who were planning to camp, left the bar and we headed off towards the chosen site. About seven tents were put up — which is easier said than done in the dark — and food was cooked and shared. The pole of a freedom flag was used to stir a pan because cooking utensils had been forgotten!

Stirring the food with a freedom flag at Queeruption 2010 base camp. Someone forgot the cooking utensils!

Again it began to feel more like an alternative to the mainstream. It would have been great if some of the performers had been there instead of in the bar. But I suspect one of the reasons why that doesn’t happen is because drinking alcohol in public places is banned in Manchester and many of the hipsters just can’t enjoy themselves without it.

So there you have the elephant in the room in all this: the British obsession with drinking these days and the dominant force in so many things now.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:07 pm
 
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