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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 31 December 2010

A Freedom of Information request reveals how much Manchester City Council gives to, and charges, Manchester Pride

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Year

Sponsorship provided by MCC which is ring-fenced for the Pride Parade only

Charges made and paid to MCC in respect of the overall Pride event including the Big Weekend

2005

£20,000

£13,600

2006

£25,000

£26,250

2007

£25,000

£32,620

2008

£27,500

£27,660

2009

£32,500
+ £1425 specific to a Heritage Trail project

£28,500

2010

£32,500

£33,300

The sums paid to Manchester City Council do not include charges made by Greater Manchester Waste (now known as ENVIRONMENTS) for the removal of rubbish which is between £6000 and £9000 per annum.

You can see full details of the FOI request here.

As you can see, even if we ignore the thousands of pounds that are charged for removal of rubbish, in four out of the last six years the City Council has clawed back in charges more than it gave the event.

It gives with one hand and gets the kudos for supporting the LGBT community, while taking with the other.

The City Council gave more than £2m towards the running costs of Manchester’s International Festival in 2007. The Festival was expected to bring in £32m of extra business to the city, while we’re told Pride brings in £22m of extra business some years.

And about £250,000 given for the Manchester Day Parade in 2011 (BBC).


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 7:42 am
Wednesday 27 October 2010

Manchester Pride 2010 raises just £115,000 for good causes

Manchester Pride 2010 has raised just £115,000 for charity. In real terms, this is considerably less than was raised by the free-to-attend GayFest a decade ago.

There’s how the figure fits into the overall picture: (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:33 am
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
 
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