So how was this year’s Northern Pride for you? Me and wor lass haven’t missed a Pride in Newcastle for a long time. I love walking en masse with my fellow queers. I love being part of the gay hive mind (and body) that gets to take over the city centre for just an hour or so every year. I love the deafening crescendo of noise as we make our way under Blackett Bridge and the University buildings just past the Great North Museum. I love the cheers and posing and preening and whistles and costumes and hand-holding and singing and laughing and drinking and thinking and winking that goes on at Pride. I love all the iterations of sexuality and gender we get to celebrate and on that day, more than any other, I love that I am not part of the homogenous heteronormality of this world.
And to any straight people reading this column I ask – do you ever go to Pride? Would you consider supporting the LGBTIQ communities of your region by joining our number and standing shoulder to shoulder with us? As well as being a party – because let’s face it people – there’s nowt wrong with a massive party, Pride is still important because we are nowhere near the equality we so desperately need in this world.
So I can get hitched now like straight people: is that necessarily a good thing for anyone, regardless of their sexuality, when marriage is all about upholding patriarchal power? Every year, when I walk as part of the Pride march, I am acutely aware of what a shit deal other queer people are getting in other parts of the world, and it might sound dramatic but I always shed a few tears for our LGBTIQ brothers’ and sisters’ suffering, and being murdered, because of who they want to be, and who and how they want to love.
So to all of you who make Northern Pride happen I want to say a big thank you. Your hard work and yearlong commitment is very much appreciated – we have to keep making a noise, we just have to: it’s a matter of life and death for some people. So roll on 2016, I must make sure I am here.