I spent ages debating whether I would write this post because I’m in a position where me talking about this may pose a problem. And in all honesty, I didn’t want to give Brighton Pride any more advertisement. But here I am. I turned round in the late hours of the night and said that I would rather pay for the costs to run a group out of my own money and spend every waking hour trying to find funding from other funders then from pride themselves.
If you do not know the reasons where all this is coming from, please click this post .
Two weeks ago Kai and I were sent an email to suggest that we turn up to the rainbow fund awards. Now considering what I had said previously , anything that is a connection to Brighton Pride doesn’t sit well with me, but because the rainbow fund had given us money the year before for our wonderful group, it was best to play the Brighton political game and show our faces. As it was they needed people to pick up an award for a different group we are in.
Now I’m not going to slate the whole concept. Many many wonderful groups (16 this year) get funding from them, and I fully support that you grab what you can. The idea behind that pride gives back to the community is also a fantastic idea. But do you know what isn’t a great idea. THE AMOUNT THEY SPEND ON THE NIGHT. It was at the Hilton hotel, in the large conference room, with food supplied and about 40 bottles of wine including several bottles of premium barefoot sparkling wine. Now I know from event hosting that many companies will give you free stuff. But I think there is limits to it. And I’m pretty sure the good, Hilton staff, the venue, stage equipment wasn’t free. Please do not complain that over a million pounds was spent on pride (which let’s be honest, I think the “acts” took a chunk of that too, however thank you fat boy slim for not being greedy at a charity function and doing it for free.) And a hundred thousand pounds plus on the weekend shutting down st James street. I’m pretty sure if money was a massive issue, you could skip the lavish event to “say thank you” to the community, and just post the checks, to the groups your meant to be supporting as opposed to making a fucking huge song and dance about it.
I could point out the things they did wrong in an entirely separate post so I’m going to bullet point the issues with the event.
*I know for certain that there were 2 at the VERY LEAST people who were deaf or hard of hearing. Thank you for providing no signer and the “text” on the videos were at such a speed it couldn’t be read. Considering the access team were there, they should have thought of that.
*It was opened with “ladies and gentleman” . Thank you for being so binary. There are people who do not identify as this. There are better gender neutral ways to speak to people. And since you are an LGBT charity, you should be shit hot on this. Or at the very least take up the training we keep offering up to you.
*There was a trans joke. I’m sorry Zoe, I love you but it was highly inappropriate to do it, you let the community down, and picking up the award just after was awkward as fuck. You are an amazing compare, please never lower yourself to that ever again
*THE VIDEO. I have never seen so many white, drink fueled , semi naked men shaking booty in such a short time. And I’ve seen (sorry mum) some serious hardcore porn from the dark recesses of the internet. Thank you for proving that once again pride is aimed for white 18-30 middle class men. There should have been a trigger warning at the start also. Showing assault, hospitals, people being hung, death needs a content warning at the start. Again this has been engrained in ALL of our teaching, to warn people before we shock them.
I could list of several other problems to, but the last time I posted something like this I was blocked from speaking to pride just after I posted my blog post, so I’m not willing to push it just yet.
I am also fully aware that several people were uncomfortable with me being there (one persons evils didn’t go unnoticed, and that I’m fully aware that they are not happy that I am putting in a personal complaint about their previous behaviour) . Kai and I were also fully aware that the beginning speach commenting about basically how people should be thankful for pride, and that we shouldn’t allow people to talk negatively, may have been aimed at the terrible trans people who were there. Heads up, we were not the only people complaining, and I’m pretty sure next year the groups willing to be involved in something so drug fueled and not fully inclusive of the whole community, will not keep quite so quiet. Or maybe they will, we live in an economy that’s suffering and the most vulnerable are getting neglected. As I said previously, people will do a lot to keep a group going, such as suck in all their feelings for two hours, just to get basic core costs covered for the next year.
I don’t think in all honestly I can spend much more talking about how this was, mainly because it drains me. It doesn’t affect me, well it does, but it affects other people more, the groups they pay for, the groups of people they treat like shit. I’m privileged that right now, I am able to talk about it. But I know as the months progress I need to focus more on what the group/s wants, what they needs and what we can do without. And I don’t know whether I’m honestly willing to sell there soul just yet.