By any measure, Norwich Pride 2013 was a rip-roaring, runaway success. 5,000 people flooded into the city to paint the town red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Even the regal lions guarding the grand entrance to City Hall got into the act with rainbow garlands wrapped round their elegant necks and party hats propped on top of their fine heads. The BBC issued a weather warning but sheer exuberance blew the clouds away and bathed the crowds in warm sunshine. This was a Pride with a difference. Despite the large numbers, there was a touching intimacy and a genuine sense of inclusion sadly lacking in some of the mega Prides these days – no VIP areas for the cut above, no egos to massage, no fences to keep people out (or to keep them in), no faces that didn’t fit. We had a ball. Congratulations to the dedicated group of volunteers who made it all happen. You played a blinder.
I was chuffed to be asked to be the voice of Pride on Future Radio. Pity the poor people who had to listen to me witter on several times a day.
The marching season continues (no, I don’t mean the archaic and nose-rubbing Orange Day parades). Following a whole week of rather special events (including my very own display at the Pride Without Prejudice Art Exhibition), tomorrow is Norwich Pride day, a gift from the LGBT community to all and sundry. We missed it last year. Something else got in the way. Now, what was it? Oh, yes, watching the opening ceremony of the London Olympics from a balcony overlooking the stadium. We were torn, but the once-in-a-lifetime event won the day, I’m afraid. This year we are fully committed to the pink party. In fact, I’m going to be co-hosting the outside broadcast of Pride Live on Future Radio with the fabulous Di Cunningham from the epicentre of the knees-up on Millennium Plain, itself the epicentre of community life in the city. I’m not quite sure what to expect other than that it’ll be a scream and I’ll be the one doing the screaming. I think Di intends to wind me up and let me loose into the rainbow crowd to hunt down colourful victims to interview. Tune in on 107.8 FM (or online) and listen to me make a total prat of myself because I won’t know what’s coming up and I won’t have rehearsed my lines. Oh, sod it, who cares? It’s all in a worthy cause. Whoever you are, why not pop along and parade with pride?