London: Pride in the Park & Black Pride

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This was held in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, in Lambeth. It was a mix of a Picnic in the Park and Black Pride which was on the other side of the Park.

There were various stalls around and there was also a tent that had a series of talks on various subjects which I enjoyed.

There was a talk on Women, but the two Women presenters failed to turn up which was a bit disappointing. There was also a brief talk about Dr Who, and a black lesbian being in it. Even in the Asexual community, people talk about Dr Who and think Sherlock is Asexual. Dr Who seems to be a popular topic amongst gays and asexuals, some see the popular children’s programme as a ‘benchmark’ of modern society.

Crowds of people were there, and it was a good, friendly atmosphere. It was a nice place to have a festival and there were lots of trees around so we could escape from the heat. There was the usual LGBT music, which, for me was ok, but a bit too loud for me, and I couldn’t hear my friend speak for most of the event but still, it was good fun and some of the stalls were interesting, such as the LGBT history month one, and the one that had big cushions you could lounge around in. There were also medical ones like ones on HIV testing.

There was also a dog show afterwards. Not one of these proper ones, with agility and all that malarky, but more along the lines of the best dressed Camp Dog and what skills your dog could do. For example, two dogs had these skills – eating and just lying down! Everyone laughed.

One of the Camp Dogs, ‘Wan Chan’ being paraded at the Dog Show:

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THIS DOG WAS SO CUTE

It was also good to see people in Black Pride, there were absolutely hundreds of people attending and getting along.

T-Shirt slogans spotted ‘Martha Luther QUEEN’ and badges with ‘Never Kissed a Tory’.

Thanks to the Met Police who helped make it safe and I am glad one of them took off their helmet because it was just too hot.

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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Millwall Football Fans from Bermondsey attend LondonPride 2017

Millwall supporters from the LBTQIA and heterosexual community attended London Pride 2017 and supported the LGBTQIA football fans from all clubs, including West Ham, in the Pride Parade this afternoon. Some fans were unable to make the Parade itself but went anyway, as part of the crowd.

When a Millwall supporter waved his distinctive scarf, some West Ham fans smiled and joked. It was all good fun, everyone was in good spirits.

Later in the day, the Millwall fans went to Trafalgar Square, and despite wearing their ‘Millwall, No one Likes us scarves’ received many hugs from lesbians and gay men.

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/

Croydon’s First PRIDEfest 2016

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Hundreds of people from mostly the LGBT community turned up on a hot, summers day to the very first Croydon Pride, on 28th August which was organised just in six weeks.

Croydon’s first openly gay Mayor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor  said ‘this is  the first time Croydon Council has supported a Pride Festival in the borough and, indeed, the first time in a very long time since any Pride-related event was celebrated here at all”.

Everyone seem to be having a good time, with generally a positive reaction from the general public who took photos of people in the Parade.

The Pride was a free event, not ticketed and the atmosphere was ‘happy’, family-orientated and not ‘loud and rowdy’ so it was a really nice and pleasant event, not too large and overwhelming. It was easy too get to as well, and you didn’t have crowds of people on the trains unlike at BrightonPride.  The police looked chilled out and relaxed.  I didn’t see any large police vans hiding in side streets. I think smaller Prides can be a lot safer and less stressy.  I didn’t see people so plastered they were causing annoyance.

However, some revellers were littering the streets with plastic bottles, beer cans and cigarette butts but a few considerate community minded volunteers helped pick up their rubbish. Local businesses were pleased to see so many people turn up although some hadn’t realised there was event despite the Council handing out several leaflets.

We went to a local independent cafe, and ordered a meal with soft drinks, and kept well away from the Boozy bars; it also meant that we had a seat too.

One of the people on the podium did a shout out to various sexualities   but one young asexual was disappointed that asexuals were not given a mention.  Organisers at Croydon Pride are keen to do more for asexuals at the next Croydon Pride.

PHOTO BELOW: CroydonPride Parade

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