All pics & content by Michelle Martin
Last weekend, Birmingham saw its biggest ever Pride event take place across the city – with a two day celebration centred around the Hurst Street festival.
Over 75,000 people joined the Pride Parade, starting in Victoria Square and winding its way to the main festival site – led by the Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners group that featured in Matthew Warcus’s 2014 film Pride.
From Birmingham’s Lord Mayor and Peter Tatchell to Spiderman, people of all ages, stages and whatever else you need to cling on to, marched under the banner Freedom – Together United. In a city no stranger to public demonstrations, this year’s Birmingham Pride was precisely the two words that make up its name. Plus I heard there was a bar open.
Four main arenas/stages anchored a throng of ancillary venues, with acts from Example, Ms Dynamite and Fuse ODG to Baby D, Heather Small and Jimmy Somerville making up a seriously strong line up for your weekend ticket buck. But the main attraction at Pride is always the people in attendance, with an undercurrent of sincerity, debauchery and face painted pageantry that most festival promoters would sell a grandmother or two to see happen.
Birmingham Pride has been running for 19 years in our city, evolving from a simpler array of stages in the Hurst Street Car Park to the phenomenal two day gathering that we celebrate today. And with 2016’s twenty year anniversary already being promoted, things are likely to get only more fabulous. I had to squeeze the word in somewhere.
Michelle Martin went to Birmingham Pride 2015 for a 10 WORD REVIEW, asking the people on the shop floor what the event means to them. Check out her extensive extra pics in The Gallery too, they’re also quite fa… I’m done.
For more about Birmingham Pride, visit http://www.birminghampride.com/
10 WORD REVIEW: Birmingham Pride 2015
“We have a strong connection with the gay population as some of us are ourselves. We come to spread our love with everyone.” – Sailor Girls
“We have more freedom to do what we want.” – Robert & Thomas, Handsworth
“I see my friends embrace who they are, without restrictions. If you walk hand in hand with your partner, you get horrible looks by some people. At Pride, everyone is equal.” – Jodie, Perry Barr
“I have a chance to enjoy being who I am. Some people think I’m disgusting for what I am. I’m just different.” – Andrew, Birmingham
“I have fun. There’s a great crowd, the music is ridiculous.” – Rebecca, Birmingham
“I can be different and no-one can judge me.” – Pride performer
“I get to see so many people supporting the gay community.” – Lucas, Birmingham
“Equality is everything to people like us. We are becoming more accepted with events like Pride. The more there is, the better.” – Rosie & Jessica, Walsall
“I can love my man openly. And so can many others.” – Joseph & his ‘bitch’, Birmingham
“We come to basically get smashed with our gay comrades, and enjoy ourselves as much as possible in two days before coming back to reality.” – Romans at Pride