Open Letter from OutRage! to the Pride Trust, 18-July-1996

      We wish to thank the staff and volunteers of the Pride Trust for their efforts in staging Pride '96. Organising this event is often a thankless task, which is difficult to get right, even with the best will in the world. No one who undertakes to organise Pride could possibly produce a perfect event acceptable to everyone.

      While we are very appreciative of the Pride Trust's efforts, we feel that the direction and atmosphere of this year's March and Festival went badly astray by sidelining the struggle for human rights. In a spirit of constructive criticism, we offer the following observations. --

      There is nothing wrong with the corporate sponsorship of Pride, but what is wrong is allowing business interests to depoliticise the celebrations. Let's be frank, most commercial enterprises are only interested in getting us to buy their products, and couldn't care less about lesbian and gay human rights.

      We do not want Pride to become a dull and dour, politically-correct event. We agree that it should have a Mardi Gras-style flavour. This does not, however, preclude also giving Pride a fun and energising political dimension. Pride must not become a mindless (if fabulous) once-a-year party where we pretend that we can dance away our second-class citizenship. We can't. On Clapham Common, we were "slaves in a gilded cage". We may have a wild, brilliant Pride Festival, but that doesn't count for much when straight society still fucks us over with impunity.

      The practice over the last two years of having vague Pride themes like "Lesbian Visibility" and "Generations of Activism" hasn't worked. They are too amorphous and ambiguous to inspire the Pride revellers and to attract serious news reporting. A big pop festival is rarely news: but a big pop festival focused around a specific human rights demand increases the chance of media coverage.

      We suggest that to remedy these problems, future Pride events should:

      We hope the Pride Trust will again this year convene an open public meeting where all sections of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community can express their views on the future direction of Pride.

      Once again, we commend you for all your hard work, and hope that in the future Pride will celebrate both the battles we've already won, and also the struggles we've yet to win.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Oppenheimer, Marina Cronin and Peter Tatchell


Open letter to the Pride Trust (2) -- Exclude homophobes -- August-1997


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Author: Josh Oppenheimer, Marina Cronin and Peter Tatchell
©1996 OutRage! London
URL: http://www.RoseCottage.me.uk/OutRage-archives/qintelpt.htm
Last modified: 23-September-1999