World Pride London?



2012 is a big year for London. The Queen has just had her jubilee and the Olympics are around the corner. The sandwich filling is some limp cheese and a damp lettuce leaf. This Saturday, London hosts World Pride.

Social media has been going batshit recently about London Pride going tits up (and it's been good to see people be so pasisonate about it). To summerise; What should have been a huge global event for the capital has been reduced to a bimble down the road.
   
* There will be no vehicles or floats on the procession (though shopping trolleys will be allowed, apparently).
* Procession is now starting at 11am (I’ve yet to know a queer to be awake before 12pm at the weekend...unless they are crawling out of a club or gay dolphins (all muscles, no hair) off to the gym).
* There will be no road closures or after party in Soho.
* Club owners, managers, promoters and journalists from the gay scene have publicly slated and stated no confidence in the event.
* Money was offered late in the game, but licenses were not in place.
* Boris couldn't give a crap and has blocked Peter Tatchell from speaking at the rally in Trafalgar.
* Elton Jane walked away from the Pride House proceedings some time ago.
* The chair of the board has stepped down.

All a bit embarrassing really...

World Pride London should have been the queer Olympics. The committee has had two years to sort it out and to pull the parade (now procession) this late and dress it up as “going back to it’s activist routes” so late in the game is patronising bull poop. I’d love it if it really was about marking international homophobia and injuctice but lets not forget, London Pride changed the march to ‘parade’ sometime ago...so what’s it to be? Politics or party?

Even before the shit hit the fan, the line up of entertainment was not what you’d expect from a world event. It’s all good having a few drag queens and Boy George do a turn in a Philip Treacy hat but Deborah Cox to headline? She is a fabulous singer but very few people over here have a clue who she is. To put it into context, EuroPride 2011 in Rome had Lady GaGa. (Whatever you think of her music and attention seeking, you can’t deny the girl bangs the gay drum loudly and gets mainstream press attention for it, which can only be a good thing).

Deborah Cox is from Toronto which is the next city to host World Pride in 2014. But wait...electro goddess Peaches is also from Toronto, could they not pop her over on easyjet from Berlin?
Perhaps she’s too fringe or obscure? Deborah has 43k likes on Facebook, Peaches has 245k. Facebook 'likes' are hardly a reliable taste or quality gauge but that’s one hell of a difference and how queer is Peaches?! (Other Canadian popstars that could have been considered; Nelly Furtado, K.D. Lang, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Avril Lavine and everyone’s favorite lesbian, Justin Bieber).

Moving on to the afterparty....the official London World Pride after bash is porn star buffet, HustlaBall, sponsored by Rentboy.com. Well that's inclusive (...sound the sarcasm klaxon).
HustlaBalls does not represent most of London based LGBTQI people, only a mere commodifiable fraction. Sex sells but the assumption that every gay male is a waxed, hung and available is outdated and clich├ęd. (I’ll stop here. I’ve already rambled about this on another blog)

Pride used to be both fun and political but has been going down the u bend for sometime now. It’s current incarnation isn't inclusive and doesn’t represent me as a tutti fruity queer woman. Good luck to whoever, if anyone, picks up the mess made but it’s about time Pride London had a shake down. There have been calls for the whole board to resign and a full investigation to what went so wrong but once Saturday is over and the discarded whistles thrown to the curb, I can’t see many people bothering to care. Many will go back to pictures of LOL cats, the new series of X-Factor and a puddle of apathy.

My ideal Pride would be a peaceful, positive march, honoring those with less rights than our own and highlighting the inequality of LGBTQI people  (yes it's pretty darn good in the UK right now but we've still a way to go). 
This would be followed by a huge party full of queers, twinks, BDSM, bears, drag artists, scallys, suits, geeks, clones, jocks, goths, average folk, fashion kids, women, men, gender benders, intersex, cis and trans people, artists, disabled, young, pretty, ugly, old, fat, thin, round, square, black, white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and all those many glorious shades in between (basically, people) where everyone can shake off their labels and guests to our glorious capital can sample the wonderful diversity we have.
 
x

P.S. Unfortunately I won’t be mincing in a shopping trolley as I've got work commitments outside London but all the best who do attend. Be safe, be proud and please be nice to the volunteers.

P.P.S. To the annonoymous person who called me an attention seeking narcissist on my last blog. Well yes...it’s my job. What part of the Holestar memo did you not get?

The Dogs Bollocks

Last night I DJed at a place where the system kept tripping out so got up and did a show of sorts...show must go on and all that. Afterwards, got talking to two guys who wanted to manage me, how marvelous blah blah. Then told them about a project I'm doing and things went rather tits up.

My partner and I decided to castrate our adopted dog Huxley (as in Aldous…one of our mutually favorite books is Brave New World). Most vets recommend it for city dogs and though it may be against his nature, didn't want him fathering unwanted puppies. He’s quite small and don't want him getting attacked by aggressive dogs, especially the many Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the area (they can be lovely dogs but many owners around here teach them to be violent. Battersea Dogs Home is full of Staffs that can’t be homed because people can’t be arsed to train the poor things).
Rather than send his discarded testicles to the incinerator, I plan to recycle them, make some 'wearable art' and do a photo shoot with the caption “The Dogs Bollocks”.

Was then told (rather loudly and aggressively) I was an evil woman, disgusting and a nazi. How dare I glorify his loss?  I asked if Damien Hirst’s animals in formaldehyde were ok...I was told yes because he is an established artist and I'm not. (I have the same MA in Fine Art as Mr Hirst but don't have the same entrepreneurial drive and quite happy expressing myself in other ways thanks very much).

Eventually got up and went to the dressing room, they then banged on the door and screamed of my evility some more. For someone who considers themselves quite tough, I felt rather threatened.

There is no reasoning with fundamentalists, whether their thing is animals, religion, politics or Madonna, their mind is already firmly made up. It was interesting to be challenged and I was up for discussion but when I'm screamed at and compared to evil scum, well there really is little point. I wonder if it would have been different if I was using anonymous testicles from a butcher. I don’t intend to lord it up being dominant over an animal but the whole purpose of using his parts is its personal from a dog I adore rather than a random animal.

'The Dogs Bollocks" earrings is a simple creative statement, a play on British slang and a piss take of fashion. He was not hurt during the process and is a happy, loved and wonderful pooch. I don't want to offend or intend to be provocative, just happen to be drawn to the bizarre and comical. Many of my creative idols tend to be a little controversial (Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Sprinke, Helmut Newton, Andres Serrano, John Waters, Chris Morris, Bret Easton Ellis) and that inspires and forms my outlook, so I’m not going to apologise for having twisted ideas. Just don’t expect to be attacked for them.

Anyway, I’m off to play with  Huxley in the park.

x

P.S. Busy week coming up, my night Lets Get Quizzical, Wotever World Pride (where I'll be having a ramble about the London Pride shambles) and then off to DJ in Dorset at Lush Fest. How lovely.