So as you will have seen from the local press, Norwich finally had its first Pride event. And despite much faff, I got to attend properly.
For the months before I'd had a posse of interested folks. But as the time drew nearer things kept cropping up. Conflicting events (who organises two Pride marches on the same day? ;) ), lack of babysitters, no transport, and assorted other things meant that I very nearly gave the whole thing up as a bad job. And even until the day proper I was resigned to going in drab.
Fortunately the day itself was bright and sunny, and this both cheered me up, and boosted my confidence. After a quick call to make sure my best mate was cool with me attending en femme, I got ready. "Practical" was my goal, so denim shorts and this awesome white T-shirt from Yours were teamed with opaque tights and trainers. I even took my only large practical handbag stocked with bottled water and sunblock. With a smile on my face, and head held high I headed to my car, and then to the city.
Arriving at my mate's I was informed that she was looking after her daughter that day. And after much hoo-haa she finally turned up. Her first reaction was a polite nod and then getting on with her own stuff. Then came the open mouth and pointing. Then the "You're wearing girls clothes." This very quickly gave way to amused compliments, and lots of questions on where I got my bag, and my top, and what I used for breasts; and finally just dealing with it and chatting away as normal. Bless her ;)
The events were pretty cool. There were all sorts of stall inside The Forum with info and things to buy. Nice to see the local constabulary and unions getting involved. It was also amusing to see the emo kids that usually crowd the steps had to move a little to the left because of all the LGBT people enjoying the entertainment, and just relaxing.
We had a quick shopping and food break midday, where I managed to out myself to an old friend, and got very polite and friendly service in Burger King. We also spotted that the castle in the centre of the city was flying the rainbow flag in honour of pride.
And then it was time for the picnic. We met up with some of my mate's friends (and family) in the park, and just relaxed watching the more adventurous people's costumes. Sadly outside factors meant we couldn't stay for the march itself, but we saw everyone forming up ready. And surprisingly the Lord Mayor herself who had agreed to lead the parade to show the City supported the march.
Overall it was a fun day, helped by the good weather in a week when it had been very changeable. And for those with next year's diary already, the next Pride event will be on Saturday 31st July 2010.
Afterthought: As I arrived home I saw my new neighbour. As he was busy with something, I blanked him. I don't think he recognised me, but its hard to tell. He hasn't mentioned it anyway.
4 days ago