Russian Pride

Russian Pride

Yesterday, Norwich Pride reached the grand old age of 10 and the streets of the city throbbed to the fabulous in their multi-coloured glory. We came, we saw, we partied along with the mums, dads, kids and grandparents. Summer is Pride season and rainbow flags have been flying across the realm. Sadiq Khan, London’s Muslim Mayor, danced across a giant flag during London Pride and even the sleepy Suffolk town of Beccles flew one from the Town Hall. It’s about inclusion, right?

Not in Russia it’s not. In Russia the rainbow flag is subversive gay propaganda opening the floodgates to kiddie-fiddlers, making ladies of the lads, lads of the ladies and bringing Mother Russia to her knees. Waving it can land you in the clink, or worse. The term ‘Russian bear’ doesn’t refer to a hairy mary bopping round a bum-bag to Abba’s Dancing Queen, and it takes a brave soul to be out and proud. And so a band of rainbow comrades employed a little cunning to get their point across at the recent World Cup. Big respect to Norwich’s very own Di Cunningham, chair of Pride in Football, who rolled out the Three Lions Pride flag at England games. I’ve read Di and her team got a bit of low-level hassle from the authorities, but as the flag was endorsed by the English Football Association and supported by the UK Government, the Ruskies let it go. No one was going to provoke an international incident at Putin’s big showcase.

More subtle was a group of activists from Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia who roamed the streets, squares and subways of Moscow wearing their national kits which just happened to make up – you guessed it – the rainbow flag. Now that’s what I call a result.

Images courtesy of The Hidden Flag #thehiddenflag


Blissful Bodrum

It was a magnificent day, so we ventured out to Bodrum for a light lunch and a beer on the beach. The town was in jolly mood and filled with laid back holidaying Turks strolling along the promenade. The sweaty bother of the summer months has been displaced by a more agreeable autumnal tone. We settled at a modest watering hole opposite the town beach which proudly displays a rainbow flag alongside the usual pennants.  The bar has been a constant during our many holidays to Bodrum as the prices are reasonable and the easy on the eye staff are attentive without being fawning.  The clientele has completely changed from tattooed tourist to Turk and is much the better for it. We watched the sun set over the castle and were reminded, as if a reminder was needed, why we are here.