As word filtered through of Pride in Brighton & Hove revealing combined debts of over £200,000, I have to admit my first reaction was one of resignation. Can I really be arsed with a sad saga that keeps on keeping on? Well two coffees later and my resignation has been replaced by indignation. The debt is bigger than Brighton & Hove City Council were told. The contributions to local LGBT charities and voluntary groups will not be made. Again. And the dedication and goodwill from businesses, charities, performers and supporters is being washed away by questionable decisions. Again.
When you read the word creditors read self-employed, small and large businesses struggling in a recession. Think about the cash flow issues here, the numbers of people who will have to write off the debt Pride owes them. And the sad irony is a lot of these are probably local businesses and supporters who have worked their arses off raising donations and sponsorship.
Brighton deserves better than this. How will we ever gain the councils support behaving like this? Where will the finances come from and why should they be delivered when ‘Pride’ owes creditors and have mislead Brighton Council? Years ago funding for LGBT projects was grabbed by bigots as a chance to attack candidates in local elections and this situation could be used in a similar way. How can supporters of Pride in Brighton and Hove within the council justify spending further money with this record of debt behind the organisation? Budgets are stretched to breaking point as it is. This Friday will see Pride issuing a statement regarding their financial situation. It will make interesting reading. I only hope that we, as a community, can find a way through this.
Yes Pride is a celebration we don’t wish to lose but more importantly Pride is statement of Gay Pride we continually need to make whilst so many LGBT communities and individuals around the globe can’t. Year in, year out. We need to say we’re here, we’re queer and we can make our festival’s work. We can deliver safe and sound events, we can raise much needed funds for LGBT charities. We can bring our communities for the greater good. We can be Pride in Brighton and Hove. Paraphrasing The 2 Bears; we’ve just gotta work harder, for the future, together.
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