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Tuesday 30 August 2011

Fireworks on the final night of Manchester Pride 2011 (video)

Video of the fireworks display on the last night of Manchester Pride 2011

Traditionally, on the final day of Manchester Pride, there’s a display of fireworks after the HIV Vigil in Sackville Park.

This video was filmed from the top of a tall building to the south. This year I got ambitious and used two cameras!

Please be warned that this contains even more flashes than usual.

Here’s my video of last year’s display.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 5:49 pm
Tuesday 2 August 2011

What The Pink Paper didn’t tell you in its LGF funding cuts article. And why…

Update: (25 October 2011): part of this article has been removed while further research is done.

Stockport NHS cut gay charity by 100 per cent” was the emotive headline in The Pink Paper on 26 May 2011. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 6:04 am
Saturday 16 July 2011

Interview with Julia Grant (video)

A 70-minute interview with legendary Manchester gay village business woman Julia Grant.

Julia Grant talks on video

A decade ago, Julia Grant was one of the best-known business owners in Manchester’s gay village and an outspoken voice in both the LGBT and mainstream media.

After Mardi Gras 1999 raised nothing at all for good causes, she ran the successful and free-to-enter GayFest for two years. But, some people — including local councillors and Manchester City Council — weren’t happy at all.

Unexpectedly, in 2002, Julia sold Hollywood Showbar and her other businesses and left. Despite rumours and malicious gossip since then, she didn’t speak out in public.

Now, in this exclusive interview Julia Grant reveals the LGBT history that you won’t see at the current Manchester Pride exhibition at The Lowry gallery. Plus she recalls the events that drove her out of the city.

This was recorded on 10 July 2011 during the Sparkle weekend.

GayFest 2001 fundraising (June 2017)

For years one of the malicious smears against Julia Grant around the gay village was that she “ran off with all the money raised from GayFest 2001.” A couple of years ago, PW and I set out to try and trace the GayFest money.

It wasn’t difficult. We were able to confirm with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and George House Trust that they had received their funds almost immediately after the weekend. By that point Body Positive North West no longer existed. But we were able to see the accounts and the money from GayFest.

Between the three of them this was the vast majority of the money raised by GayFest 2001. It seems the remaining 12.25% went to an array of smaller organisations. It was near impossible to trace it more than a decade after the event. Small organisations and projects were not required to publish full audited accounts with Companies House or the Charity Commission.

That doesn’t mean anything was amiss and what we can say for sure is that 87.75% of money raised by GayFest 2001 reached the three major charities mentioned.

Julia Grant is a controversial character. But this was an unfair and wicked smear against her. Did any of these three major charities ever refute the malicious reputation she had been given? They had benefited enormously from the work of her and her team at GayFest.

Overall there can be no doubt that some people who wanted a different sort of event were happy to see Julia discredited.


Filed under: With video — GS @ 3:47 am
Thursday 7 July 2011

Rewriting history to promote the gay village and Manchester Pride

You may have heard about the notorious raid on a drag ball at a temperance hall in Manchester in 1880? An article in The Guardian (Village People, 7 August 2004) refers to the incident, but it begins with the scene just over one hundred years later.

In 1988 “Canal Street in Manchester city centre was still a red-light district,” writes the author. Going on to describe how police officers patrolled its “dank alleys”.

“This kind of surveillance was nothing new in the area,” she continues. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,General,History,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 2:10 am
Saturday 9 April 2011

Wynnie LaFreak delivers a letter on behalf of the Facebook group ‘Facts about Manchester Pride’ (video)

In the absence of any official public forums or public meetings, we set up a group on Facebook to discuss the facts and changes people would like to see at Manchester Pride.

The questions were put in a letter and on Friday 8th April 2011 Manchester’s premier drag queen Wynnie LaFreak delivered it to Pride HQ in person. You can see what happened in this video.

Wynnie LaFreak about to deliver a letter to the offices of Manchester Pride

Read the letter here (PDF).

LINKS

Facebook group

Message board

Wynnie LaFreak


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 3:05 pm
Friday 11 March 2011

Manchester’s gay village topped the city centre league for violent crime again in January

The crime level street map for January shows that the gay village was again the worst spot in the whole city centre for violent crime (orange).

Violent crime in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

Anti-social behaviour in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

The village was the top spot for anti-social behaviour too (blue). I’ll let the map showing all crimes (grey) speak for itself…

All crimes in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

You can see December’s stats in my post here.

Check out these and other stats on the Police.UK website.

By searching with a postcode you can check crime details for any area. The website also gives information about your local policing team and beat meetings.


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 2:42 am
Wednesday 19 January 2011

Pride charity money given to the Village Business Association

The origins of Manchester Pride go back to 1990 when an August Bank Holiday event was set up by several of the gay businesses. The aim being to raise money for good causes – particularly for those connected with HIV and AIDS.

So it’s quite extraordinary to hear that, this year, the opposite has happened; some of the money raised by Manchester Pride has been handed to the Village Business Association (VBA) – the body that represents businesses in and around Canal Street.

While many charities face cuts and a fall in income due to the economic situation, and some community projects get no financial support whatsoever, the VBA has received £4,000 which will go towards the cost of putting up a decorative arch at both ends of Canal Street.

This sum won’t cover the entire cost of the project. But luckily it seems Manchester City Council may have some spare money for this.

At the same time as it announces it has been left with no option but to make 2,000 job cuts, the City Council may be able to find £8,000 to put towards this project.

Chinese arch in Manchester Chinatown

It’s being described as an ‘arts project’ and the arches may look something like the structure in nearby Chinatown. But some people who bought tickets for Manchester Pride or put money into a collection bucket must wonder if this is an appropriate use of the charity fund.

Also, as news is announced that no less than three venues are threatened with closure, they might wonder whether charity money is being used to try and shore up the profits of businesses in the gay village.

UPDATE (May 2012): nothing has happened so far and, possibly due to the publicity surrounding this, the Council hasn’t put forward any money for it. It’s been suggested that the VBA will hand back the cash if the arch doesn’t go ahead. We’ll then check up to find out where that £4,000 ends up.

Where do these ideas come from? Birmingham City Council has given £10,000 towards a “rhinestone-encrusted model of a rhinoceros” that will mark the entry to the city’s gay village.

When all kinds of services are being cut, spending public money on this kind of vulgar tat just brings the LGBT community into disrepute. If the businesses in Birmingham’s gay village think this will boost profits then let them pay for it.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 8:54 pm
 
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