WORLD PRIDE LONDON?
2012 is a big year for London. The Queen has just had her jubilee and the Olympics are around the corner. The sandwich filling is some limp cheese and a damp lettuce leaf. This Saturday, London hosts World Pride.
Social media has been going batshit recently about London Pride going tits up (and it's been good to see people be so pasisonate about it). To summerise; What should have been a huge global event for the capital has been reduced to a bimble down the road.
* There will be no vehicles or floats on the procession (though shopping trolleys will be allowed, apparently).
* Procession is now starting at 11am (I’ve yet to know a queer to be awake before 12pm at the weekend...unless they are crawling out of a club or gay dolphins (all muscles, no hair) off to the gym).
* There will be no road closures or after party in Soho.
* Club owners, managers, promoters and journalists from the gay scene have publicly slated and stated no confidence in the event.
* Money was offered late in the game, but licenses were not in place.
* Boris couldn't give a crap and has blocked Peter Tatchell from speaking at the rally in Trafalgar.
* Elton Jane walked away from the Pride House proceedings some time ago.
* The chair of the board has stepped down.
All a bit embarrassing really...
World Pride London should have been the queer Olympics. The committee has had two years to sort it out and to pull the parade (now procession) this late and dress it up as “going back to it’s activist routes” so late in the game is patronising bull poop. I’d love it if it really was about marking international homophobia and injuctice but lets not forget, London Pride changed the march to ‘parade’ sometime ago...so what’s it to be? Politics or party?
Even before the shit hit the fan, the line up of entertainment was not what you’d expect from a world event. It’s all good having a few drag queens and Boy George do a turn in a Philip Treacy hat but Deborah Cox to headline? She is a fabulous singer but very few people over here have a clue who she is. To put it into context, EuroPride 2011 in Rome had Lady GaGa. (Whatever you think of her music and attention seeking, you can’t deny the girl bangs the gay drum loudly and gets mainstream press attention for it, which can only be a good thing).
Deborah Cox is from Toronto which is the next city to host World Pride in 2014. But wait...electro goddess Peaches is also from Toronto, could they not pop her over on easyjet from Berlin?
Perhaps she’s too fringe or obscure? Deborah has 43k likes on Facebook, Peaches has 245k. Facebook 'likes' are hardly a reliable taste or quality gauge but that’s one hell of a difference and how queer is Peaches?! (Other Canadian popstars that could have been considered; Nelly Furtado, K.D. Lang, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Avril Lavine and everyone’s favorite lesbian, Justin Bieber).
Moving on to the afterparty....the official London World Pride after bash is porn star buffet, HustlaBall, sponsored by Rentboy.com. Well that's inclusive (...sound the sarcasm klaxon).
HustlaBalls does not represent most of London based LGBTQI people, only a mere commodifiable fraction. Sex sells but the assumption that every gay male is a waxed, hung and available is outdated and clichéd. (I’ll stop here. I’ve already rambled about this on another blog)
Pride used to be both fun and political but has been going down the u bend for sometime now. It’s current incarnation isn't inclusive and doesn’t represent me as a tutti fruity queer woman. Good luck to whoever, if anyone, picks up the mess made but it’s about time Pride London had a shake down. There have been calls for the whole board to resign and a full investigation to what went so wrong but once Saturday is over and the discarded whistles thrown to the curb, I can’t see many people bothering to care. Many will go back to pictures of LOL cats, the new series of X-Factor and a puddle of apathy.
My ideal Pride would be a peaceful, positive march, honoring those with less rights than our own and highlighting the inequality of LGBTQI people (yes it's pretty darn good in the UK right now but we've still a way to go).
This would be followed by a huge party full of queers, twinks, BDSM, bears, drag artists, scallys, suits, geeks, clones, jocks, goths, average folk, fashion kids, women, men, gender benders, intersex, cis and trans people, artists, disabled, young, pretty, ugly, old, fat, thin, round, square, black, white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and all those many glorious shades in between (basically, people) where everyone can shake off their labels and guests to our glorious capital can sample the wonderful diversity we have.