OPINION | When Pride Was About Pulling
Gay Pride events, what wonderful things they are. These days I like to get fully involved in the true meaning of pride and have an active role in community aspects of it.
I am even organising my county’s first ever Pride (www.warwickshirepride.co.uk). But there was a time in the not too distant past when going to Pride was all about pulling.
One year when I was particularly ‘mad fer it’, I went to Birmingham Pride with the intention of getting extremely drunk and copping off with as many guys as I could. How disappointed I was when it didn’t work out quite like that. What was even more disappointing was seeing each person I was at Pride with getting off with someone or at least having somebody show an interest. Even my heterosexual step-mother got hit on by a lesbian, but I had absolutely no interest in me at all. I know, how can that be possible?
I spent the afternoon at the famous Nightingale Club in Birmingham with my friends and step-mother. It was a typically rain drenched Pride day so we had decided to take shelter and get drunk. I went to the toilet with my step-mother to get dried off. At this point a guy armed with a bag full of hairdressing equipment said he would style my step-mothers hair (as you do in a unisex toilet at Gay Pride – anything goes, I guess). Upon leaving the toilet my step-mother had been transformed from a drowned rat into a glamourpuss courtesy of the dude carrying a hairdressing kit around Pride all day. As she strutted towards the bar, heads were turning and one particular woman walked up to her and said “alright darling”. My step-mother thought it was hilarious. I was horrified. Why was she getting hit on and I wasn’t?
I eventually saw the funny side of it and continued with my plan to pull. Once my step-mother had gone home and I was more able to misbehave, I began picking out the guys that I wanted to get jiggy with. Alas, more disappointment awaited. Nobody reciprocated the not so innocent feelings I had. Worse still, a girl I was with pulled a woman and my male mate pulled a man dressed as Queen Elizabeth 1st, which was quite bizarre actually.
Eventually, I resigned myself to the fact I wasn’t even going to get a Pride snog. So I got very drunk and shook what my mama gave me in the club that night. But the next morning something unexpected happened.
I was sharing a hotel room with my friend who had previously decided he was into guys that dress as Queen Elizabeth 1st, and somehow found myself in a tryst with him. It was nice. It was familiar. It wasn’t what I had intended, but sometimes these things just happen.
So although I did pull, I don’t really count it as it wasn’t with somebody I didn’t know. I went home feeling incredibly disappointed that I had failed in my task. My strike rate had been very high, but perhaps I just tried too hard that weekend.
Looking back, I am not too impressed with the way I conducted myself and now realise there is so much more to life than getting off with guys, and indeed more to Pride than pulling. However, on the other hand, I am glad I was like that because it has provided me with plenty of entertaining stories to tell my mates down the pub, and also some that I can share here.
However you view Pride and whatever you get up to while you are there, the only thing I must insist on is that you have pride in yourself and enjoy it. If you see it as an opportunity to pull, then go for it and be safe. If you see it as a time to protest and focus on the issues that LGBT people face, then I salute you and again say go for it. Pride can be whatever you want it to be.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.