One of my favourite weekends of the year has to be Manchester Pride Weekend. What could be better than seeing thousands of revellers having an amazing time in our city? But it’s important to remember, that the weekend is more than a celebration, it’s more than rainbow flags, sparkling glitter and lots of happy people singing along to your favourite Steps song. Pride is a protest. A protest against any society that discriminates a person based on their sexuality or gender identity. When most of us think of the word protest, we think large crowds, sometimes aggressive chanting and large banners. Although, this can all be said for Pride as well, the way we do it in Manchester is unique. The protest was born out of anger, but today it focuses on love. This love and adoration is felt all throughout the LGBT+ community towards one another. It radiates so strongly across our city and is felt by all those who get involved by showing support to such an important group within our city’s culture and history.
Growing up, like many others I often felt discriminated against or ostracised due to my ethnicity – so as an adult I feel very strongly about supporting anyone else who is going through, or went through a similar experience. Equality is one of the most important elements of our society and we should all stand up for it. We’re proud to also work with Forever Manchester, a manchester born and bred charity that supports an array of charities and community projects in the county including those for the LGBTQ community.
Back to the weekend itself, the thing I love most about Manchester Pride is how freely everybody who attends expresses themselves and it’s been amazing to see it grow over the years. Back in my own student days I used to work at Pride for what was then, ‘Galaxy Radio’ and it was easily my favourite promo job of the year. Getting paid to go to the biggest most beautiful party in the city, and all I had to do was make friends, take pictures … oh, and hand out lube!
Fast forward a few years and I am fortunate enough to still be able to be part of it. At Menagerie we’ve never been known to be shy so I love each year seeing the incredible float parade and getting plenty of inspiration! Our own bath tub and confetti cannons are of course getting fired up as I type getting ready for the festivities ahead, this year is our biggest pride celebration yet. We’re filling the venue with extra sparkle, throwing our rainbow love brunch on Friday and Saturday with complimentary glitter makeup available, rainbow cocktails, a DJ live from the birdcage and our male aerial and fire duo (who are particularly gorgeous).
Personally, I am so excited about Nadine Coyle performing this year and I can’t believe she will be joining us to keep the party going after her Pride performance. If I could have anyone perform at Pride it would be Britney, Erika Jayne or Kylie!!