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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
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
Tuesday 19 February 2008

What people are asking this week (no. 789): The LGF

Why doesn’t the name of the LGF (or ‘Lesbian and Gay F**kwits’ as the poppets are known locally) include bisexual or transgender? Who could be dropped next? Lesbians perhaps?

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 1:53 pm
Saturday 25 August 2007

Pink tank at Manchester Pride 2007 (video)

Watch the video here.

A pink tank featured in the 2007 Manchester Pride parade. Later I saw it speeding down Oxford Road, still with trans girls on-board, and pulling up at the traffic lights. Which was even funnier.


Filed under: Fun,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 11:50 pm
Saturday 23 June 2007

Vaughn Lowery ad (video)

Famous across America for being the KMart Joe Boxer underwear guy, now Vaughn Lowery has done a great ad for the Houston Chronicle.

More KMart/Joe Boxer ads featuring Vaughn here and here. How long before we see this talented guy on British TV?


Filed under: Fun,The media — GS @ 1:27 am
Wednesday 30 May 2007

Sackville Park village fete (video)

Sunday afternoon was the final day of the Queer Up North arts festival and a village fete was held in Sackville Park. There was a cake judging competition, stalls and a great punch and judy show.

(more…)


Filed under: Fun,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 1:03 am
Saturday 19 May 2007

Manchester’s Odeon cinema subjected to a damaging ‘systematic and methodical’ assault to prevent preservation

The former Odeon Cinema, Oxford Street, Manchester

Manchester’s former Odeon cinema, on Oxford Street, has been subjected to a ‘systematic and methodical’ assault to prevent it being preserved, according to the man who tried to save it.

(more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Crime,Environment,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 4:18 pm
 
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