Pride before a fall…Carry on regardless

Brighton Pride Programme 1992

I’ve been meaning to blog on the latest chapter in the history that is Carry On Pride In Brighton & Hove for a few days now. The press releases popping into my email have been greeted with rage then, sadly, a resigned huff as the dawning realisation hits that nowt looks like changing. As I sit here I have to ask myself can I really be arsed anymore? Is it not best to sit it out, wait and watch as another Pride goes down the not so proud drain and more fences are built between Pride and the community its here to serve?

Fences go up, meetings come and go, prices are revealed and promises made and yet still for too long monies so desperately needed for local LGBT organisations remain un-raised, buckets remaining light on cash whilst local businesses, individuals and organisations continue to feel alienated and ignored. When scene die-hards, campaigners, community leaders and businesses having worked tirelessly for their local community for years either rage with frustration or seemed resigned to the madness, we truly need to take a second look at what we do on that is a certain weekend in August.

To be honest I can’t be bothered with the maths (retaking a Maths GCSE last year was enough for me) but I do know one thing, a pie chart and rushed statements to members isn’t enough. Brighton needs truly transparent information, decent ticket concessions if the event is to go ahead and a resumption of donations to local voluntary and charitable LGBT organisations based on reality not projections. Is it so difficult to state clearly that a decent percentage of each ticket sold will go direct to charity?

Each day my inbox is barraged with ads for the forthcoming summer festivals. Prices and concessions. Promises and reputations you can bank on.Line-up’s you wanna see – acts, DJ’s, performers, entertainment, food, headliners. The lot. And not one was preceded with press releases (04.03.11) asking for the aforementioned acts, DJ’s, performers, entertainment, food, headliners to get involved, however charitable the organisation. Vintage haven’t released details of their lack of hosts for their arenas, The Big Chill aren’t out there advertising for bar operators for 2011. No Women’s Performance Tent, no Bears Tent, no Main Dance Tent, no BME tent – all for a price of 8.50 / @12.50 / £17.50 depending on postcode. I know festival promoters and those kinds of vital ingredients are not left till months before an event of this size.

And if we all choose to not pay based on postcode or aren’t one of the chosen groups of allotted tickets receivers then, sod it, we’ll do it ourselves. Our own events, our own fundraising, our own take on Pride. I’m still not sure how many lesbians it takes to change a lightbulb but I do know it doesn’t take many proud Brightonians and Hoveites to have a proud as fuck weekend raising funds that go directly to those who really need it. Anyone up for it?

So yes in a way I can’t be arsed. But in another breath I can, hence this blog heading towards its sixth paragraph. This is Pride I first made my way to in the early 1990s and have always been immensely proud to be part of. And not just as part of whom I may have or have not DJ’ed for or written with, but as an individual, up for celebrating the city I live in, the city I love in. If I don’t DJ at another Pride event again or write words of promotion or praise then so be it. I just want a Brighton Pride that delivers. Maybe its time we found a new way to be proud in Brighton. Lets queer it up!