Pride in politics
5 hours at London Pride was enough to leave anyone tired, wet through and confused as to why the yearly marches seem to be the lgbt movements’ only public expression. 10’s of stalls for every variety of lgbt campaign and organisation sided Trafalgar square representing their own niche campaign (or more normally caucus) but only Pride seems to bring them together. The international scope of the movement is ever present but it seems like the movement has lost its edge at home, solidarity with Pride’s abroad has to be built on struggle at home as well. The domestic tone of pride has to much focus on community issues like drug deaths with a minority openly taking up issues such as real inequality at home. The multitude of “gay businesses” on display helped depoliticise the event combined with cheese on the stage interspersed with appeals for the pink pound to support gay companies in what became an increasingly naked marketing opportunity.
For all that Pride still retains an inspiring sense of liberation contrasting so starkly to the oppressively homophobic atmosphere the remains in much of the UK. Pride remains and should always remain of central importance but the movement deserves a liberation campaign that can really start to push beyond the limits of the commercialisation. The response to political intervention stood in marked contrast to the indifference to the multitude of dating/club/corporate rubbish that was being distributed as proof that people do and always will see pride as political.