Review of #LondonPride2017 8th July

I watched the Parade from the sidelines along Regents Street and enjoyed seeing procession.

It was good to see different kinds of organisations getting involved, although it was very much dominated by large, impersonal, corporates like Tesco, British Airways, financial corporations and John Lewis. You rarely see them in smaller Prides. I didn’t see any rural businesses, or smaller businesses either. It appears to be more of a corporate ‘marketing ploy’ and also catered mostly for the urban population. Come on, Pride, where are the LGBT tractor drivers, the LGBT Gritters, the LGBT construction workers etc.

The Army, Royal Navy and the RAF were there which was good because they used to be so anti before, although even then I thought of it has a marketing ploy to get more fodder for the forces. The Coldstream Guards were there, still wearing their bearskins, on an extremely hot day.

I would like to see more types of organisations and clubs getting involved in LondonPride. Needs a bit of freshening up.

The Parade was smaller this year, but I think this was due to people having to register, but I think that is a good thing as it can make a bit a bit safer.

As an Asexual, I didn’t see any Asexual people in the corporate organisations involved. There was a distinct absence of diversity within these companies in that respect.

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) were there as well as the Asexual Podcast team, Pieces of Ace.

Furthermore, I barely saw any disabled and wheelchair bound people and I saw virtually no elderly people. It is supposed to be inclusive, but it really isn’t enough. Perhaps carehomes and the like, are not providing trips to LGBT Pride, I don’t know. It just seems weird. The music is also catered for the much younger crowd. I don’t think Pride is really marketed or equipped for these people. London Pride has been going on for 50 years now, but it needs to cater for the older generation too as time goes on and our body falls apart. Even more seating for them would be helpful. I wasn’t given any survey by the organisers to provide them with any feedback.

I enjoyed the music despite this and the silly antics of those in the Parade, although it was really too hot and crowded to stay watching.

I did see a lone Christian man with a large cardboard with some homophobic comments and quoting the Bible. I just ignored him.

I went to Trafalgar Square and listened to the music and to Sadiq Khan droning on and on, it was good to see Peter Tatchell again. I didn’t see any Asexual speakers though.

I did notice that the LGBT brigade tends to ‘bring out the Scene people’, and according to the forums on social media, the Scene lot, can put off Non Scene gays and they refuse to go to Pride. In some ways, Pride has become ‘too sexual’ if that makes sense. One person I met said that the stuff in the Pride Magazine, didn’t apply to him. I would also add that there was nothing about Asexuality in the magazine either. Some Asexuals said that they were very unhappy about being ‘wiped off the PrideLondon posters.

Despite it being a very hot day, there was a lot of alcohol being sold, which was harmful to people’s health and increases anti social behaviour. However, there was a water fountain which people could use that was great. One blonde woman was so intoxicated that she was sick in Trafalgar Square, which was disgusting and I nearly got sprayed by it. However, generally people behaved really well and warm which was nice to see. Security was ok too.

Many people didn’t pick up their alocholic litter and loads of glass bottles were just left on the floor. There were officials who helped clear it up, but people should pick up their litter and it stops animals getting hurt too. I picked up my own litter.

Though there were dogs around, on a really hot day, the Event Organisers refused to supply any dog bowls, as ‘it was not their problem’. Next time I go to Pride, I will take my own dog bowl. I thought this attitude was poor. People forget to take dog bowls sometimes.

When I got home, I checked the news on social media, and you can see from the comments, that people who are gay are still having abuse in the 21st century, although generally on the Parade I didn’t see much of that other than the man with the cardboard.

REVIEW: 7/10 Generally a very good day, but needs some improvements.

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Asexual Endurance Cyclists exist too #philippayork #Pride2017 #hereiam #Ace #letour

I was pleased that Tour de France champion Robert Millar has come out as transgender and now is to be called Philippa York.

It is sad to see that she can only ‘come out’ after ten years but I am not surprised as the cycling community isn’t that welcoming for minorities. I think she is very brave.

I have heard of a transgender cyclist who cycles round Paddock Wood in Kent reportedly, ‘in her high heels’. So unless this is Philippa, it could be another trans cyclist. And in the cycling world, they ‘do talk about it’.

It was even very hard for me as a ‘minority cycling woman’ ten years ago before the London Olympics but I am glad there are more female cycling clubs now, although I personally prefer the smaller informal ones which have more diversity, rather than the ‘white and conservative’ female cycling clubs. However, I love cycling on my own or with just a good friend. Not all women like to be in groups all the time, I am a bit of an introvert. I am confident cycling on my own and all my endurance events have been on my own too.

I prefer long distance charity cycling myself as you do something that benefits others.

As an British ex-endurance cyclist, and a female. I am happy to raise awareness that there are also Asexual cyclists around too! Yay!

I am also Straight Edge. I find being a non-drinker in the British cycling world, is much harder than being Asexual and a woman in it. Being in a minority, I now tend to do my own thing and I don’t go on the macho cycling forums or clubs. It is a challenge to ‘find a place for me’.

Going back to Asexuality, I do find it difficult wearing tight cycling clothes, such as the cycling shorts. I feel uncomfortable with the leering looks from hetrosexual men and sometimes shouts and honking from motorists and passengers cars. I tend to cover up more now, and if I remember, wear cycling skorts which I think is a lot more comfortable and flattering (for myself!) than nasty tight lycra shorts which attracts the pervy attention.

I am looking forward to going to Pride2017. The Parade is also on my birthday! It should be a lot of fun.

Just a small note to Philippa, you did pick a name that is hard to spell. You won’t believe how many times I have been trying to get it right!

Link to the story: http://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/news/philippa-york-%E2%80%98i%E2%80%99ve-known-i-was-different-since-i-was-a-five-year-old%E2%80%99/ar-BBDVzZx?li=AAmiR2Z&ocid=spartanntp

More on Asexuality: http://asexuality.org/

UK Politics: Green Party Autumn Conference: Group to include the ‘A’ for Asexuals

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The quest to properly recognise people’s sexuality took a significant step forwards in the UK yesterday, as the first political party acknowledged asexuality by renaming its specialist group.

At their Autumn Conference on 3rd September, 2016,  the Green Party’s “LGBTIQ” group voted to change their name to “LGBTIQA+Greens” to include Asexuals, or ‘Aces’ as they are called informally. A post on Facebook announced that “with an overwhelming 61% of first preference votes, our membership decided to change our name to; LGBTIQA+ Greens!”

One Asexual joked that “It rolls off the tongue!” Another said, “It is an important start that the Greens have recognised us.”

According to the Asexual Visibility & Education Network, (asexuality.org), ‘an asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction”. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% at least in the British population. The Green Party decided to recognise Aces alongside Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people.

In the UK, Asexuals are starting to make their presence felt more. As well as podcasts, Facebook and Tumblr  groups, Aces are increasingly present at events such as Reading Pride this weekend, with various Meetup groups being organised up and down the country. Large companies like Tesco have started to make them feel welcome at their workplaces.

At Reading Pride, the team from Asexual Podcast, ‘Pieces of Ace’ handed out leaflets as well as slices of cake (a confection which is acquiring a lighthearted symbolic place in the Ace community. An Asexual joke is that when it came to attraction, they were much more attracted to cake).

Aces have not previously been recognised by the UK political parties or even mentioned in the UK Census. There are campaigns by various universities and individuals to change this. In this context, the Green Party’s stance is a step forward.

The Asexual Flag (top of the article) is made of four symbolic colours:

  • Black: Asexuality
  • Grey: Gray-A and demisexuality
  • White: Sexuality
  • Purple: Community[                                    

 

 

The Ace Ring: A Symbol of Asexuality

Asexuality is a sexual orientation; a lack of sexual atraction to anyone. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% in the British population.

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ABOVE: The Asexual Flag (Black: Asexuality, Gray: Gray-Ace, Demi-Sexuality, White:  Purple: Community

As more and more people discover they are  Asexual, through better online awareness, books and increasing media attention,  many of them  want to identify themselves as an Asexual by wearing a distinctive ring.

Wearing one of these rings helps Asexuals round the world look out for other ‘Aces’ too, increases visibility and it is  easier for them to ‘come out’ on a more subtle basis (though some may not always want to discuss to others).

Normally  it is a  black ring worn on  the  middle finger of  the right hand. It can be plain or attractive,  carry an Ace Symbol or the colours of the Asexuality flag (above). Some wearers will go further and wear the colours of their own particular Ace spectrum.

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ABOVE: A plain Ace Ring on my finger.

A word of caution!  The swingers’ black ring is on any finger on the right hand, apart from the middle finger.

 

For more information on Asexuality: The Asexual Visibility & Education Network:  See http://www.asexuality.org/home/

Podcast and Youtube Videos for Asexuals (Uk based) Pieces of Ace https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQhPrlKXl8ROL86xPSMHFow

Popular Youtube Asexual Campaigners-

Young Blossom talks about Ace Rings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvGQSZj0D7U

Ameliaace https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHAv1g2JODsrkUKfHh1nAwQ

Cookieemonster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnEC1Ek4MJs

Queerascat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgu8W7lB1k&list=PLWjQZKpsn86_24PKl52_OuOWFnwGeBLld