IT’S PRIDE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Pride season (for those going ahead) starts here.
The questions I hear most often at this time of year are ‘Do we really need another pride?’ or my favourite ‘When is straight pride?’
I’ll try to explain, so please bear with me.
Looking up Pride in the dictionary….pride is:
- a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
- consciousness of one’s own dignity.
- confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.
- the best state of something; the prime
Last night I walked into The Ship Inn by myself. It was the first time I had entered a pub alone in 16 years. I bought a drink, had a laugh with the bartender (he’s a keeper!), sat in the beer garden and relaxed in the evening sun.
So why the 16 year break? Well last night I was dressed as me, nothing riotous (except the heels!), The Ship Inn is a safe space, and, just by being there, I expressed all 4 of the dictionary definitions.
I can’t walk into a pub alone in ‘boy mode’. I just can’t, I think everyone is staring at me and I don’t feel safe. Yes, I know how this sounds but it is true.
Having a space in which you can just be, like The Ship Inn, allows you to feel a sense of being, and that fosters a sense of pride. If I was ‘straight, cis etc’, that would be almost any pub, almost any festival, almost any parade… you start to get the idea.
So, it’s not really too much to suggest a pride season is it? But here is the thing, as I sat in the beer garden, I watched straight boys chatting up straight girls, people of unknown sexuality, gender, social orientation, they were all just being themselves, and while a couple were being way too much themselves by 11pm, it was relaxed and fun. Everyone was welcome.
Not all pubs are like this, not all events include all the community… So straight pride happens every damn day, and, hell yes, we need Prides. With the attacks that our community is seeing at the moment I’m going to suggest we need them now more than any time in the last quarter of a century.
So please follow any advice you are given if you are attending a Pride, keep safe and enjoy pride season! We will be blogging the good and the bad about Pride here all summer!
And one more thing, it’s never just the LGBT+ community that has been disrespected, marginalised, treated differently based on an inherent characteristic. There are many people who find themselves feeling like that, and as the straight boys and girls found out at The Ship, it’s a welcoming place where you are automatically considered an ally……. Just like pride.
See you next week…
Shea – Medway Pride Radio www.medwayprideradio.co.uk