It is 2014 and although we aren’t travelling around on hover boards yet and don’t have the ability to buy a pack of pistachio nuts pre-cracked, we’re pretty advanced as a species.
We may be able to send big rockets into space and set an alarm on our phone through Siri but where our technological advancements astound, our cultural growth leaves a lot to be desired. Large amounts of people are still stuck in some archaic universe where homosexuality is not tolerated. In the USA there are more states that deem sex with animals legal than the love between two sexes, two humans, illegal. Hold on, don’t lose all your faith in humanity yet, Liverpool Pride and a dedicated team of volunteers hold a yearly march where thousands of people are given the ability to celebrate their sexuality through the streets of Liverpool rather than hide in the closet. What an incredible day. We sat down with Sean Weaver, the Marketing Manager behind Liverpool Pride to get beneath the surface of this wonderful campaign.
How did pride begin?
“Liverpool, unusually for such a big cosmopolitan city, had its first “official” pride, in 2010. This was due to a combination of the capital of culture year, and in response to the community rallying round after the tragic murder of Michael Causer. The pride event takes place in the the first weekend in August every year as that’s the closest to the anniversary of his death, which this year falls on the day of Pride. The wheels were set in motion back in 2009 and the rest as they say from there, is history. We were incorporated as a charity, and from then on in we’ve seen Pride grow from 20,000 people attending the first year, to 75,000 taking part in last years celebrations. My role as the marketing manager sees me working with some fabulous volunteers and delivery partners in making sure the message gets put out here, there and everywhere amongst anything else I can lend my skills to. I first got involved back in 2012, we’re all volunteers at Pride too.”
What is the inspiration for the big celebration?
“We don’t call it a parade, we call it a march, as it is just that, we set out to make our political statement, and show how fun it is. I see it just as much a cultural thing as a political thing too, and think it is very important we have it. Unlike the majority of other Prides across the country, our march is free to take part in.”
To you, what is Liverpool Pride and what do you hope it represents?
“Liverpool Pride is a celebration for all people regardless of their sexuality, however it just so happens to be organised by the LGBT community. That’s why we’re Liverpool Pride, and don’t refer to ourselves as ‘gay pride’, something people often don’t get their heads round. I also think it’s an embodiment of what Liverpool as a city is, the whole city comes together as one for the day, to celebrate what we all are.”
What can pride regulars look forward to this year that will be different?
“This year we’ve upped our game, in many ways. The event wasn’t getting any smaller, however the funding available to us was, and even though we raise a fantastic amount of money throughout the year with our volunteers at various fundraisers, we needed to become sustainable, so introduced a small ticket charge. This has gave us access to some fantastic acts we normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with. This year Katy B is headlining, and joining the bill we have Heather Small, Sam Fox and Sonia (we love a busty red head!). The show will be our best yet, and all that alongside all the other stuff we have going on, including our free to access community zone with lots of engaging activities for young and old, and our fantastic program of LGBT film Pride At The Pictures which we do every year around festival time, across Merseyside cinemas.”
Do you think the day is changing attitudes?
“I’d like to think we are, I especially think Prides with the approach of ours do, encouraging the whole family to get involved. But it’s not just down to Pride organisations like ourselves, it’s down to society as a whole, from the classroom to at home. One day we’ll live in that Star Trek utopia where there’s no such thing as discrimination!”
Discrimination is an awful thing, especially when unjustified. Luckily, many of us go our whole lives without ever being subject to its perils and leave this world unscathed by the compassionless and afraid. We support Liverpool Pride’s message eternally, no human should ever walk these streets full of shame, they should strut the streets with pride, looking absolutely fabulous.
Liverpool Pride will be happening this Saturday on the 2nd of August and is a march that encompasses a notion, not a sexuality. You don’t have to be swayed by a certain sex to join, you just have to embody the movement and walk hand in hand with your partners, friends and family as you walk towards a better world together.