This year the debate around the cost of pride has erupted when Manchester Pride announced their new range of tickets. The most expensive ticket was £65 from when they first went on sale. Not only were some in the LGBTQ+ community arguing that the tickets were too expensive in comparison to previous years, there was also the point made that LGBTQ+ history had been forgotten. This arguably has contributed to the de-politicalisation of the Pride events, which allows the heavy commercial themes to be so prevalent and dominating in Prides across the world today. It was deemed absolutely vital for queer, labour and trade union activists to organise events free for the public to attend and enjoy. The history of LGBTQ+ people must be remembered, whilst we often take our rights and privileges for granted, which our community have fought for and won, they can be taken away and have been taken away in countries across the world from the very communities that fought for them.
For the 22nd of August,
Piccadilly Labour activists Rory Tavener and Victoria Graham have teamed up with the Manchester Central Labour LGBTQ+ Officer Hannah Berry to organise a free Manchester LGBT History Trail. This will be led by Paul Fairweather, a well known LGBT Mancunian activist and historian. Paul Fairweather was a Manchester Councillor and was the first Gay Men’s Council Officer in Manchester. He’ll be bringing the political LGBT History in Manchester to life with the free walking tour.Meeting point will be outside the Midland Hotel on Portland Street, just at the Rainbow Mosaic at 6:15pm on the 22nd of August. You can find out more here. The walking route is accessible.
Piccadilly Labour Councillor Jon-Connor Lyons has organised, along side LGBTQ+ activists and Trade Unionists, a free event called ‘Queer August’ open to the public for the 23rd of August.Queer August will feature a talk from Paul Fairweather. He’ll be referencing Manchester’s queer history and the campaigns that won the first Government funded Gay Culture centre in Manchester.The second part will be from a Trans trade unionist and activist, about the fight to get recognition.Then, after a short break, we’ll be listening to a read through of “The Lesbian Liberator”.
In 1978, a Burnley bus driver Mary Winter was fired after found wearing a Lesbian Liberator badge in her workplace. The play looks at the campaigns and the people around Mary who fought back, for her and for LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace.
Cllr Jon-Connor Lyons, Dr. Jeff Evans and Jacob Mason have organised this event and it’ll be held on the 23rd August, at 6pm till 8pm in Manchester Central Library. Tickets are needed and you can get yours here. The venue is accessible.