Words by Rebecca Lavender
Closets are for clothes, love has no labels
What did I learn from my first ever Pride in Manchester this weekend? I came in with high hopes, that’s for sure. This was to be the weekend to top all weekends; this was to be the Big Reveal™; this was to be my maiden voyage into a ~ literal ~ whole new world as a formerly clandestine version of myself, albeit the best version.
Too cheesy? Can’t relate? Then this isn’t a post for you.
Pride is such a beautiful act of rebellion against the status quo. To come together to support one another in this way is the most colourful, hopeful kind of protest.
There was a time when feeling proud seemed wholly unachievable for me; it seemed almost mythic. But Manchester Pride made me feel like I could achieve anything. It made me feel unstoppable and it made the love I have for those around me seem infinite.
I haven’t experienced any other pride events with which I can draw comparison, but really it doesn’t matter where in the world you are – all that matters is that for one day or one weekend you know you’re in a safe space. Coming to pride is like coming home. The LGBTQ+ community is a family – a support network – and for some it’s their only family.
The biggest message I’ve taken away from the weekend though, is that there is still so much more to be done. There is still more to learn. More to say. There is still more love to share.
For that reason, I’d like to highlight some amazing initiatives within the Queer community, many of which were present at and actively involved in Manchester Pride this year:
Trans Creative Trans led, Trans positive production company
Albert Kennedy Trust charity fighting LGBT homelessness
LGBT Foundation charity providing a wide range of support for LGBT peoples
Moist Collective Manchester based queer women’s art collective
I want PrEP Now online resource, providing information on PrEP which is a pill you can take to protect you from HIV
House of Ghetto Manchester based Vogue House
GLAAD : and LGBTQ media force leading cultural change and representation of queer people in the media.
In this digital age, the internet serves as an outlet for many people, and for me personally YouTube is somewhere I turn for advice and representation. So here are some of my favourite YouTube channels for LGBTQ+ content:
Riyadh K documentary filmmaker
Ash Hardell non-binary educator
Pidgeon Intersex activist
Amelia Ace all things asexuality and beyond
Them. “Showcasing the world through a queer lense”
Finally, here is a little glossary of Queer books for those who still love their phsycial media:
And there you have it! I hope you find some of these links to be useful and educational, whoever you are and wherever you are on your journey.
I’d like to end with this little gem of advice:
A friend recently told me to live my life loudly. I will – and you should too.
Happy Pride; happy always.