Tag Archives: Pride

Manchester Pride: a parade for the privileged?

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It’s easy to see Manchester pride as a massive success: it’s one of the few Prides which is omnipresent throughout the city attracting people from across the UK and wider – amazing! But this year made us question whether Pride in and of itself is intrinsically valuable to the LGBT+ community.

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I went to Hamburg Pride 2013 and it was awesome!

Hello, rainbow friends!

As part of my summer holidays/travel shenanigans this year I went to Christopher Street Day Hamburg (or Pride for short) and I have lived to tell the tale! And show you lots of pictures, of course.

Let’s start with some stats: Hamburg is a city in Northern Germany and is known for having a big-ass harbour (one of the 20 biggest world-wide). Tourists tend to forget about Hamburg, because Berlin exists, even though it is Germany’s second biggest city as well as the biggest city in the EU that is not a capital. So yes, it does have a respectable gay scene. 😉

Another fun fact: Hamburg had a gay mayor from 2001 until 2010, Ole von Beust. He was outed in 2003 accidentally by his father, but he didn’t mind. And apparently it also didn’t harm his political career, as he was re-elected twice afterwards. He also participated in Hamburg Pride 2009!

But let’s move on to this year’s Pride, shall we?

This was actually the first proper Pride March I had ever been to! I have been to CSD Münster last year, buuut it was rather small affair, so I was pretty excited to see what a “real”, big Pride looks like. And what can I say… It was absolutely amazing! The weather was really nice (eventually), there were fantastic costumes, the music was great and people were dancing in the streets. I really don’t have much else to say, other than that I had a fantastic time and was really happy to see so many diverse, proud and politically active people.

So without further ado, why don’t you have a look at the pictures below to get a better impression? You could just scroll through them, but I also wrote some extra info in the captions and translated all the German signs and banners, so just click on the first photo to start a slideshow and learn a bit more about the event. Enjoy!

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Making our cake and eating it too!

Cake has feature heavily in the history of LGBT+ communities.

Firstly you have the idea that being bisexual is having your cake and eating it (with the implications sometimes being that bisexuals are indiscriminate, greedy or lazy) which while some bisexuals have embraced the cake idea, some, other have wanted to get the hell away from it.

The other group which has totally jumped on the cake wagon (nom…cake wagon…) is the online asexual community. AVEN welcomes new members with cake, even though no one is quite sure where it comes from it has become one of the symbols of asexuality.

well it does look a really good cake.

Also cake is just generally awesome. I don’t think I could love someone who didn’t love cake. So I pleaded to be allowed to post about baking on this blog, because it really should be part of our agenda if it is not already. And I have some recipes and ideas that may make it  more likely.

Numbero UNO: RAINBOW CAKE!!

Why hello ladies...I am a tasty cake.

Why hello ladies…I am a tasty cake.

Yes. A cake which is a rainbow. This has also been called “pride cake” or “mystery cake” (when covered in plain icing.) It is super simple and super tasty. It could also be really easily adapted for whatever pride flag or colours you like.

You will need:

  • 2 x 20cm cake pans (or different sizes but you may need to adjust timings)
  • Food colourings (paste or liquid) red, yellow, blue, purple (hard to mix), green and orange if you like but they come out ok when mixed.
  • Plain icing (packet or be fancy and do a frosting)
  • 200g each of: self raising flour, caster sugar, soft butter,
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
  • 4 eggs beaten

Make it:

  1. Turn oven to 190/gas mark 5 (slightly less for fan ovens)
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl. Beat until it is soft and smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 smaller bowls and add food colourings. The colours will be stronger when it is cooked but don’t make them too weak, unless you really like your pastels.
  4. Go wild! Splodge the mixture into pre-greased tins or silicone pans. Don’t worry about prettiness here.
  5. Pop in the oven on the middle shelf for 20 mins (check the first time you make it as it may take a little more or less time. Check by using a clean skewer, if it comes out clean it is done.)
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool on a cooking rack. Don’t eat it yet.
  7. If you are doing a double layer cake when it is cool, sandwich the two together with jam/buttercream/nutella/whatever you like.
  8. Otherwise, once it is cool cover it in your plain icing as a disguise and decorate as you wish.
  9. Serve it to your friends and allow your cake to “come out” and show its true colours!
  10. EAT.

I will be back again if people want be to be exploring my adventures making macarons in different flavours (more pictures next time!)

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THE GAY AGENDA IS PROUD: CAITY

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

My name is Caity, or Caitlyn if you met me online before in the real world. I’m 22 in 2013 and I was born and raised predominantly in Australia, but am not very good at sitting still.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I got involved as I’m an avid blogger and love communicating with people through this medium. I thought my sexuality would be a new angle for my blogging, as my primary blog is about law and politics over at Stateless Diplomat. Plus, I hope I can add these angles in here.

What do you write about?

Law, politics and bisexuality. All of these are central to me 🙂

What do you do in real life?

I’m studying a joint honours MA in Law and International Relations, drinking f**k loads of tea and travelling.

Why is Pride important to you?

Pride as in the idea, not the event, is important to me because as someone whose sexuality can be easily erased or halved it’s something that keeps me sane, and gives me a feeling of belonging with the whole proud community. My pride keeps me secure in who I am, and is something I can share with my LGBT+ friends in a kind of mutually-refueling sort of way. I also think Pride as a protest is still hugely important to our social development, and a great experience for those who love it.

I’ve never been to a Pride parade, as I’m not one for loud street events. They scare me a little.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

Purple and Proud

What’s your Pride soundtrack?

Spice up your Life – The Spice Girls

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the little toe I have out of the closet, and all the anxiety and fear I’ve overcome to get the support I have. I’m proud of the UK moving forward on equality, and of Scotland leading the way.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Brittany

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride, we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

Brittany – I was born and raised in Devon, UK. I’m half German and also I’m part Scottish/English and I’m 19.

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I love to write, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to write about something I feel really strongly about. I want to become more involved within the LGBT+ community as I was never able to before having grown up in a somewhat homophobic area.

What do you write about?

For the Gay Agenda, I tend to write about gender and sexuality, however, I am more than happy to widen that to include art, music and religion, as I am pretty involved with all of that.

What do you do in real life?

I am an artist pretending to be a scientist. I am studying Developmental Biology/Biochemistry. I work in a museum, I write for the Gay Agenda as well as short stories and novellas. I’m an artist and I do take commissions for virtually anything and I’m an archer and I compete for the University of Edinburgh. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with this life, but I’m going to keep as many options open as I can. I’m just trying to make my way in the world and stay as far away from the past as I possibly can.

She really is an artist, look!

She really is an artist, look!

Why is Pride important to you?

Having never been to a Pride, the following questions aren’t as easy to answer, however, I’d say that the meaning behind it is particularly important – the message that we should be proud, or at least happy, with being who we are and not having to hold back or hide ourselves from the world. It would be idealistic to be able to not have any worries about not being straight and I only hope that Pride and anything to do with that will help us move in that direction, as I’m sure we all know, we are far from that. I think Pride is potentially a fantastic way of allowing people to accept themselves for whom they are and what they want to do – or at least, that’s what I’d love to get out of a Pride.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

I’d say that the best thing I’d like to get out of going to Pride would be to meet more people of varying sexualities, I don’t know how I’ve managed to do this, but I literally do not know anyone that isn’t straight. It would be so refreshing to meet some people that I can relate to, especially in regard to actually coming out (I haven’t really come out to anyone and so I’m still trying to figure out how to go about that.) I’m sure just being able to not have any walls up around other people would be lovely as I have never been able to let my guard down too much. The worst thing about a Pride? I can imagine that you can come across some people that are narrow minded about being something other than completely gay and that would worry me, as I identify as one of the many sexualities in the middle. I’m sure they’re relatively few, but I have known of (at least) in the past a few people that are “straight/bi/pan-phobic”.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

I’d definitely say that I’d like to have either a camera or a sketchpad and graphite. I’d love to keep photos of whatever happens as I’m sure it’d be such an amazing time, but if that doesn’t work out, if it doesn’t irritate too many people – I’d sit there and sketch people as they’re having a drink (or several).

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

I’d have to really think about that; all I know is that I’d have to include “Never be defeated” in there.

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Roses – Poets of the Fall, it may seem a little random, but it is one of my favourite songs (and bands) and it’s always managed to brighten up my day.

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

We’ll see soon, I hope!

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Julie

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

I’m Julie, soon to be 27, from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I love writing and think it’s a great opportunity to share ideas and get creative with lots of other really interesting, diverse women.

What do you write about?

I plan to write comment pieces on LGBT+ rights, current affairs and anything else that gets me thinking. I also enjoy writing a good open letter.

What do you do in real life?

I work in a university students’ association, supporting elected officers with all aspects of student representation.

Why is Pride important to you?

For me, Pride is still, first and foremost, a protest. It’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come but also to highlight that we’ve a long way still to go. Until LGBT+ people are not only equal in the eyes of the law but also of society, both in the UK but worldwide, Pride is still necessary as a form of political protest.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

The best part of Pride for me is seeing everyone coming together and celebrating how proud they are to be themselves; whatever that may be. The worst part is the vibe I get that Pride belongs to those who hang around on the scene every week. Pride belongs to everyone and, whether you go for the protest, the party or a bit of both, every single person should feel like they are included and belong there.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

The biggest rainbow flag I can find!

Pride parachute

This is definitely big enough.

Picture by lewishamdreamer: http://bit.ly/15DVbRV

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

This year I’ll be carrying a Russian flag along with my rainbow one instead of a placard. Last year Moscow banned Pride for 100 years and things are pretty grim for LGBT Russians right now so I want to acknowledge that. If anyone can think of a catchy slogan for my flag, let me know!

At night-time I might chill out a bit and go for the tried and tested “I’m here, I’m queer, who’s buying me a beer?”

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

Funnily enough, I’ve only been to Pride once before; also in Glasgow. I always seem to be out the country when it’s on. That was a few years ago and I just walked around taking everything in and bagged freebies from the stalls, but this year I hope to get more involved with everything that’s going on.

What are you proud of?

First and foremost I am proud of who I am. Gay/lesbian/queer, whatever you want to call it, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wish my 13-year-old self could see me now! This really comes down to having amazing family and friends who have always supported me, so I’m super proud of all of them too.

I am also proud to do my bit to stand up against inequality and injustice wherever I find it. Last year I wrote an open letter to a couple who delivered a petition against equal marriage to Downing Street and, thanks to a few celebrity re-tweets (including Stephen Fry!), it was read over 55,000 times in a week. And just last week I noticed that the International Olympic Committee’s social media guidelines said that “that’s so gay” was acceptable language. I challenged them about it on Twitter, got lots of LGBT groups involved, and within four hours they changed their policy. These are just two small actions, but I believe that if everyone stands up for what they believe in rather than waiting for someone else to do it, we can all change the world.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Sarah

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

My name is Sarah, I’m 24 soon to turn 25 and I’m half French half English.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I got involved in The Gay Agenda because I was taken in by the idea of putting forward LGBT women-focused topics without necessarily having to be heavily involved in things like politics. I think The Gay Agenda is a fab way to share everyday thoughts and ideas with women that I more closely identify with.

What do you write about?

I’m in charge of the style & beauty column, there’ll be posts on fashion, tried & tested beauty products, lifestyle chats etc.

What do you do in real life?

In real life I’m a spa and beauty therapist.

Gay OK

Photo by Charlotte Bakken: http://bit.ly/13Ysh8M

Why is Pride important to you?

Ironically pride wasn’t much of a big deal for me until last year. In actual fact I’d never attended one and wasn’t bothered about doing so, I’m even slightly ashamed to say that given the chance to go I would’ve most likely said no because the whole concept cringed me out slightly. But then I met my current girlfriend who loved going -more for the meeting up with mates and the drinks part to be fair but still- she took me along and it was actually a really good laugh! The atmosphere with the music and all the colours is like a mini rio carnival and it wasn’t half as ‘tacky’ ad I thought it’d be! Following on from that I went all out -no pun intended- and went on to do a video for Scotland’s equal marriage campaign. I guess as I get older I appreciate the efforts and steps necessary for the welfare and rights of LGBT people, of which I belong to, so I can’t leave everyone else to do all the work for me!

What is your best and worst part of pride? 

The worst part of pride is probably the sometimes questionable taste in fancy dress. The best part is definitely the sense of belonging and unity and of purse the night out!

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

My must have item for pride would be those coloured bead necklaces.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

If I had a placard for pride it would say GAY IS OK!

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

My pride track would be a pitbull remix-don’t judge me 

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

Well my best ever has to be my only one -edinburgh- but I’m positive that will get topped up soon!

What are you proud of?

What am I proud of? I’ve got a couple things that jump up at me: my spa & beauty therapy diploma and the things my girlfriend Leo’s achieved after some seriously rough times and finally on a more light hearted note I’m pretty pleased with myself that even while holidaying in St Pete, Russia, I managed to find the only gay club in the city! Complete with a dark room and their very own -absolutely stunning- drag queen. It’s completely irrelevant that it took about 30mins and 3 wrong addresses to get to it…

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Straight Hate

A few weeks back I spotted the fun, new Twitter account ‘Straight Pride’   (they’ve even got a blog  now). At first I thought it was genuinely some sort of misguided heterosexual just feeling jealous of the floats and glitter. But it did not take very long to realise that these folks were not-so-loosely veiled homophobes. The kind that deserve literally none of my thought processes.

Come out and tell everyone you are straight and proud

So, that’s that. But I think that it does raise some important questions. I had never really questioned pride. Never wondered by there was a queer pride and not a straight pride. But then a friend’s mum asked me. She’s always been 100% supportive and lovely and so I knew it was a genuine question.

Why is there a gay pride?

I think the problem is that people do see a ton of glitter, fabulous clothes and beautiful floats, and not a whole lot more. And sometimes it can be a bit unclear what Pride means to us. That as a queer community we are not simply ‘proud’. We are proud in the face of discrimination. We are proud in the face of adversity. And we are proud in the face of hate. And all for being who we are, and loving who we love. Something our heterosexual friends and family do not have to face. So, I want to talk a little bit about why I’m proud.  Because I am proud. I’m super proud.

London pride 2012

I’m proud because despite fear and nervousness I come out monthly, weekly, sometimes even daily to new people in new environments. Because I shouldn’t have to be afraid and nervous to be who I am. And if I make it easier for one other person to come out, then I’ve made a difference.

I’m proud to challenge the casual homophobia that we experience on a day-to-day basis. Because it’s that very low-level discrimination that allows for bullying, and harassment and eventually hate crimes.

And I’m proud because despite the headlines, the homophobic arguments made by ‘legitimate’ politicians in our ‘democratic’ parliament, the name-calling in the street, everyday I walk down the street holding the hand of the woman I love. Because I will not bow down to bigotry.

So tell me, why are you proud?

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