Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Bolton Pride: a few words

With a slight air of "oh lumme, I thought I had another five minutes before I was speaking", this is what I said at the closing event of Bolton's second LGBT Pride, on the steps of Bolton Town Hall. 

I figured that on a cold windy evening they wanted something short and sweet, so I reflected on how different from many other Prides the weekend had been.  B throughout, T throughout, and with more of a mix of ages and skin hues than just about any other Pride I've been to.

"Hello and thank you for inviting me along.

"This weekend has been Bolton Pride but it opened with Bi Visibility Day on Friday. The eighteenth year we have celebrated that date.

"Bi Visibility Day started as a celebration of bisexual space. In the years it has grown hugely and was marked in about twenty countries with getting on for a hundred events this year.

"But it started because too many of us had found that we were pushed out, excluded, from LGBT space. We were only welcome if somehow we only brought a part of who we were.

"But here, at Bolton Pride, and in the run up to Pride here what I have seen in Bolton's LGBT+ group and the organising team, is the opposite of that story. 

"So I want to say thank you: thank you to the team who put this weekend together and to all the people who have come along to the event, for giving us a postive inclusive pride that welcomed and reached out to us regardless, that was open to all of us and lived all of its LGBT letters and more."

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