My friend Carron decided to take a quiet bus trip into town to do some shopping early on Saturday morning, not realising that it was Brighton Pride weekend, and got tangled up in the parade.
I didn’t go to the parade, or Park events (don’t tell my daughter – she will be distraught to have missed The Human League) because I decided to go to two evening events instead and so needed to sleep during the day.
On the Friday I went to a club called Traumfrau, where there was live music. I also on that evening met someone who lives in Oxford and made me think, “I wonder if she went to my college?” and she had. She had the “St Hugh’s look” about her, which I would describe as sensible, forthright and to the point, but also very warm. I have invited her to our next college pub lunch in Sussex, and am wondering whether she will appreciate me introducing her to the others as, “this is …. who I picked up in a gay bar in Brighton.”
On Saturday I went to a performance art thing by Duckie’s. They have their main branch in Vauxhall, but were doing a performance at the Dome for Pride. I only knew that they mix clubbing with performance art, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everyone said they were really good. It was a lot of fun; they had divided the dance floor up into zones and you got issued with a “passport”
had to do tasks to get a “visa” to get into each one, where they were serving different food and drinks. The best task was the spelling bee to get into India! There was a half hour dance show with some amazing dancers and the music was really good, with tunes such as “Everybody wants to rule the world” and “China Girl” chosen to fit in with the theme, as well as some randomly composed national anthemic music from time to time.
I cheered up a sad looking panda in the China section.
Me in “India”
An interesting feature of the evening was that I went with my friend who is a wheelchair user. She contracted Lyme’s several years ago, which means that while she can walk and stand, she can’t do this for any extended period of time.
This meant that I didn’t get to do any of the tasks! The staff at Duckie’s were really great at looking after my friend, but I became something of a non-person, the person pushing the chair. Which was unexpected, but I thought was much better than the other way round.
We had to leave before the end, because it became too difficult to move around, even though the other clubbers were all absolutely fantastic, it just got a bit much asking people to “excuse me” to go anywhere at all. Now that I’ve done it, I think manoeuvreing a wheelchair around in a real life situation is something everyone should have to do. It’s such an eye opener, it’s the thinking ahead, but also the slight worry in your head that you might get stuck in a situation you can’t get out of.
One of the estate agents in town took down all their houses and put these flags up on their boards instead, which was a nice touch.