Despite Brighton’s internationally renowned Pride weekend being cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid, the city has much to celebrate during Pride month and beyond. Not least is the fact that this is the first summer as an official Brighton resident for Sussex Bylines contributor and podcast co-host Chris Davis (he relocated from London a few months ago)!
In this week’s Bylines Network podcast, Chris and co-host Connor Lamb in Newcastle (North-East Bylines) have a lively and revealing discussion about what Pride means to them. They each share their personal experiences of growing up queer – in Connor’s case, both queer and autistic – and talk candidly about how much they feel things have changed for the better (and not!) in the past few years; the importance of having supportive allies, not only in the home but also at school and in the workplace; and how awesome Chris’ mum has always been. Connor, who’s a second year Sociology degree student and is passionate about education reform, also speaks a little about founding a new charitable organisation, Schools Matter UK.
Connor and Chris also interview the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who is only the second British MP to be open about living with HIV. Their conversation proves fascinating, covering everything from the history of Pride to its subsequent commercialisation, and the empty virtue signalling or “pride-washing” that some corporations are now guilty of.
They also tackle some of the bigger political issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community today, including the legacy of Section 28, the current Gender Recognition Act reforms and the recent controversy that led to three of the government’s main LGBTQ+ advisors resigning in March. The advisors accused equalities ministers Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch of expressing ignorance around LGBTQ+ rights, and said that the Conservative government’s reform of the GRA and banning of conversion therapy were being poorly undertaken.
And our intrepid podcast participants don’t shy away from asking perhaps the most contentious question of them all: which Brighton Pride headliner was better – Kylie or Britney?
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