At the end of May, Birmingham united together in the city centre to love out loud and celebrate Pride. It is estimated that 80,000 people joined the 5,000 strong parade, which was led by Andrew Moffat, a teacher at Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock. This teacher was slammed by parents, because his lesson programme covers LGBTQ+ relationships. His programme titled ‘No Outsiders’ resulted in big protests outside the school.
This was mine and my friends first experience of Pride. We had no idea what to expect; we simply left the house in the morning of the Saturday decked out in rainbow attire. Birmingham Pride stood in solidarity with Andrew Moffat in a sea of colour and glitter as they paraded from Victoria Square, right down to Hurst Street. We joined the colourful crowds lining the streets to see the parade, which bursted with music from the floats, a plethora of diverse costumes, and of course rainbow everything. It was so exciting to feel part of such a euphoric atmosphere, the happiness was contagious and smiles were on every face. We were handed flags and all sorts from the people in the parade. The atmosphere created was inspiring, and I actually found it very moving. I was in awe of the crazy costumes that went by me, whilst at the same time remembering the importance of the event. As we freely celebrate Pride, dancing in the abundance of rainbow, I thought of how important it was to remember of those who first fought for LGBTQ+ rights, and of those who still are. The Pride Parade is an amazingly fun experience, but Pride is first and foremost a visible act of coming together as a community, in order to change public attitudes, through a joyful, public parade.
The event simply oozes happiness, and it was also just a time to have a fun day with friends. I will definitely go next year, and will hopefully by then have learnt when to stop drinking, so I don’t have an accidental nap after the final act and miss the night out (oops).
Writing about my time at Birmingham Pride reminded me of the film Pride, which came out in 2014, and remains one of my favourite films. It is based upon the true story of when Margaret Thatcher was in power during the summer of 1984, and the strikes of the mine workers was ongoing. The film tells the uplifting story of how a London group of gay activists raise money to support the miners cause, and how they unite together to support each other. Not only does it touch upon intense and dramatic moments, but it is also effortlessly hilarious. It is a heart-warming and inspiring film, defo one to add to your watch-list!