Today was a good day.
If you read my bio (which you can find here: About Me…) then you will know that I fall firmly into the LGBTQIA+ camp. I’m trans / non-binary, and either a-sexual or pan-sexual, and either a-romantic or pan-romantic (it’s hard to tell when you share your head with other entities). I’ve been out and proud for over 5 years now, and I’ve never been to pride.
“Why not Holly?” I hear nobody asking! It’s because when I think pride, I think London. That honking great parade with quintillions of people, lots of noise and the big parade through the city. It’s like the worst possible combination of things for me. Also, I didn’t really see the point. Sure I’m queer, and it’s nice to be around other queers, but apart from my friends, I wouldn’t know anybody and I can hang with my friends without the crowds.
But this year, they did pride in Ely (which is 10 minutes down the road from me). They’ve never done it before, and Ely is pretty small, and my bestest buddy was going to be there anyway so I thought I’d go and see what it was like.
IT WAS GREAT.
I figured it would probably just be like any other Saturday fair that we have all the time, just something for ‘the family’ to do, and it was, BUT it was more.
The first thing I noticed was the amount of people walking around wearing pride flags like capes. This was awesome, but then it’s pride, people wear rainbows. Then I noticed it wasn’t just rainbows. There were trans flags, ace flags, pan, bi, all kinds of flags. There were queers EVERYWHERE! It was beautiful.
Ely is out in the sticks. There is nothing around, nothing to do. It’s really, REALLY easy to imagine that you are literally the only queer around. But suddenly there was loads of us, and we were all thinking the same thing:
“I AM NOT ALONE!”
I walked behind a pair of young people briefly, and one of them said, “Nobody told me what this would be like. I think I’m gonna cry!” This person had just seen me and my buddy walking around with pride flag capes, and they were clutching a little rainbow flag like it was the most important thing in the world, and I knew EXACTLY how that felt, because I felt it too.
It was just wonderful to see a celebration of queer folk in our out-of-the-way neck of the woods. People were happy and having fun, and you could feel how much it meant to the queer folk who were there. You could feel how important it was for each of them to realise just how not-alone they actually are.
Thanks Pride in Ely, can’t wait for next year!