Plymouth UK Gay Pride.
Post Plymouth Gay (LGBT)Pride
Plymouth ‘Gay’ Pride
Organising anything takes a great deal of work by a dedicated few, so first I have to say thank you to those who put in the effort. I know some people will have worked really, really hard with little thanks to get this together….but then I really feel guilty because ...
We had decided to go to Plymouth Pride in support.
Myself & another made the 73mile (146 mile round trip) journey from where we live in Cornwall to attend the Plymouth Pride event. Thanks to the wonderful road works on the A30 at Gosmoor , it took over two hours just to reach Plymouth, but the journey is also said to be part of the adventure.
We arrived at the Plymouth Guildhall. The only indication there might possibly be something ‘gay?’ occurring inside was what appeared to be a last moment thought to crookedly hastily pin up a rainbow flag on the outside which looked as if it was there entirely by accident. The high presence of a cordon of high visibility police officers surrounding the front of the building did not reassure me. To us, it was very off putting due to the Homophobic attitude we regularly encounter with the homophobic police in Cornwall. We circumnavigated around the high-vis coppers and entered the Guildhall. Eight police officers outside!
I did not feel there was much risk of the people of Plymouth even realising there was an LGBT presence at the Guildhall (let alone a Gay Pride event ) as it was so low key and virtual invisibility. Now were the police there to keep the STR8’s out or to keep the smattering of a handful of poof’s inside?
Inside and up the stairs confronted by the first stall…. which was the Police. I could feel my hackles rising and my companion quickly steered me away from my directly engaging in my launching into a “What the F**K are the HOMOPHOBIC Devon & Cornwall Constabulary here for in such heavy presence!” I was quickly whisked around the half a dozen stalls by my friend. I was grateful for a friendly smile from the women on the ‘Lavender-lifestyles’ stall. Otherwise, having been made entirely uncomfortable by the police crawling everywhere, (I REALLY find the presence of the police highly offensive at gay events given their homophobic practises in Cornwall) I already felt as a gay person who has been personally abused & violated as a gay person by the police, completely and utterly alienated from this Gay Pride event.
I spotted someone I knew and had not seen in several years since they had left Cornwall. Having caught up on ‘have you heard from…’ and ‘what’s so & so doing now..’ we quickly established there was little point in the (almost) but a not quite 18yr old teenager trying to gain entry to the other Pride events later that evening.
There was nothing for us at the Guildhall so we bimbled into the Plymouth shopping area.
This is terrible, but, we actually spent more time watching some teenage ‘Goths’ & ‘Emos’ in costume putting on some street theatre promoting a right wing evangelical Christian church ideology than the entire time we actually spent in the ‘gay pride’ event at the Plymouth Guildhall.
We went on to have a pleasant early evening meal down at a restaurant on the Barbican and decided there was no point in staying on into the evening , we returned to rural Cornwall. I concluded I had been spoiled by the London Gay Pride events in Brockwell Park in the mid 90’s.
We did have a pleasant day out in Plymouth, but I was left feeling not part of, inclusive or included in the Plymouth ‘gay’ event. The heavy presence of Plymouth Police yesterday was in particular for us, most off putting. It seemed like huge overkill policing for such a small low key event, which had the feel of a village hall WI market.
..and I DO FEEL guilty for saying that because I know how much hard work some will have done to get the event together. Will I make the journey from Cornwall to Plymouth Pride next year, I think that may depend on whether the ‘Goths & Emos’ are performing in the shopping area again.
However, we made up for it having been invited for Sunday lunch near St. Austell with nine young gay men mainly in their teens & twenties. I sincerely thank them for their hospitality & good humour. We enlightened them about our personal FACTUAL experiences of current widespread Cornwall police homophobic practises against gay men in Cornwall. Slowly we are spreading & getting the message across that the ‘corrupt?’ Cornwall police are entirely untrustworthy regarding treatment of gay people.
Cornwall police:- Probably the most HOMOPHOBIC in Britain?