The commercialisation of Pride

This post has been brewing for a while, but recent events have pushed me over the edge.

As of 21st July, the 2021 Manchester Pride Parade has been cancelled.

My initial reaction was similar to this post.

The eagle-eyed may realise that it appears that the commercial events, the very same that cram numerous people into a “cordoned” village for “safety”, are still running.

Pride is supposed to be an event that showcases the best of queer culture whilst showing non-queer (and in some cases other queer folks) that “we are here, and we are queer”. Putting on events that are ticketed, limited, and in most cases not free of charge does not allow all those who wish to join a seat at the table - to coin a phrase.

The whole point of Pride is that it is a protest; we as the LGBTQ+ community are not free to live our lives in many places - even in the UK, especially elsewhere. If we remove the only remaining core element of Pride, it does simply become a drinking festival.

Now I am not opposed to a drinking bonanza, quite the opposite. However, I cannot abide by the consistent drive of commercialisation in the name of “Pride”. I am in no doubt that this commercialisation has influenced the decision to cancel the parade (a decision I agree is sensible given the current environment) yet continue to put on events that too have a high COVID transmission risk.

There are many examples of Manchester Pride as a charity using its financial resources, not on the community it proposes to serve, but to line pockets of those “in power”.

Campaigns have ranged from g7uk’s legal challenges to more grassroots events, some of which are over the line, in my opinion. My preferred route is one based on fact and evidence rather than mindless shouting.

I hole heartedly support bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes, getting benefits, financial or otherwise, from the increased footfall at Pride; we must support our local community.

In 2019 the “Main Event” at MCR Pride was taken out of the village then moved to an abandoned station in another postcode. This is direct removal of the support for the local gay community and a blatant push to commercialise Pride.

Yes, people will shout, “Ariana brings more attention”; does she bring the right attention? My feeling is no, and that is also felt by people in and out of my social “bubble”.