Saturday 30 July 2016
Like the title says, it was Liverpool Pride yesterday, it is also today, 31 July, but that is aimed more at families, although there were a fair amount there yesterday.
It was my first Pride, I had planned to go last year but for whatever reason I was unable to go.
Anyway, 12.54 I got my train into Liverpool to meet up with my friend, Adam, and his boyfriend and friends, who are all really nice and friendly, and didn’t make me feel judged, which I was rather relieved at. Adam was running late due to traffic so I just sat on a step amongst all the tents and stages in the sunshine and watched all the happy people. Seeing all the wonderful colours and costumes and all the rainbow flags, you couldn’t help but smile. Wasn’t so sure about the dog that was painted in rainbow colours though.
Adam eventually appeared, nearly an hour after I’d got there, but I let him off, because traffic in Liverpool on a Saturday is bad enough, I imagine with Pride on it’s even worse! Going round to near the St. George’s Hall gardens, which is where the March started and ended, there were a fair amount of performers on stage during the day, one of which was Karl Lund, name sounds familiar? He was one of the UK Eurovision hopefuls, also is from the Liverpool/Wirral area, personally I think he should have got to Eurovision, but sadly he got pipped to the post. Anyway, I’m wavering, Karl Lund was extremely good, even better live! I recommend you listen to his tracks!
We wandered up to another of the areas that is for Pride, turns out Pride isn’t just one location in Liverpool, as I suspect is the same for all cities that host Pride. Turned out this particular venue wasn’t great so it was decided we’d move on. Ended up at Stanley Street and a Gay Bar by the name of Superstar Boudoir, there were some VERY HIGH heeled “ladies”, if I didn’t know they were actually men, I wouldn’t have known, very well concealed! Wonderful outfits too and hair! There was a great couple whose choreography was brilliant, but I can’t for the life of me remember the track they were dancing to! Down side to Boudoir, it was seriously hot and very loud! There was air-con in the place because the flags were fluttering, but you couldn’t feel it.
At around 19.00 I decided to head home, I was tired and had a headache, from the music I will add as I’d drunk 3 pints of iced water most of the time I was at Boudoir. It was rather pleasant being on a quiet train with a breeze blowing through the carriage. Fell asleep pretty much as soon as I got home.
Now, what I have missed out above I am going to write now. The above was what we did, what I didn’t put was how I felt. Short answer, odd. Long answer, a mixture of feelings that I may or may not be able to explain in a way that is understandable but I will give it a whirl.
What it was actually like for me
So firstly, yesterday morning I was really excited about going to Pride, it was a glorious day, the sun was shining, very little wind and it was a warm day, as soon as the train speaker said “next stop is Liverpool Lime Street” my stomach churned, I actually wanted to stay on the train, go home, forget I’d even considered going. Needless to say I got off the train at Lime Street, feeling worse and worse the further up towards the open air I got. The Wirral Line, which is the train I get is underground around the “Liverpool Loop”, hence the further up.
The warmth of the Sunshine hit my skin, it felt nice, I contacted Adam to tell him I was there, it was then I learnt he was running late. My stomach churned again, I stopped and drank some water that I’d brought with me, it was one of the things I was dreading about the day, arriving and no-one being there. Seeing all the groups of people, yes it was nice, but at the same time i felt uneasy, “why the hell did I come here…” was the main thought running through my mind. Thankfully Adam arrived which I was very relieved of! Although with two others who I didn’t know, I did learn of their names shortly after though, but I now can’t remember them! I can picture them, just not the names..oops.
Wandering round from the front of St.George’s Hall to the Gardens there were so many people, lots of Police, which in a way was nice to see, people being very friendly to them and having their photos taken with them etc. Pretty sure i saw someone getting hand-cuffs put on them for fun! Anyway, we went down to rather close to the stage, the noise was deafening, I could barely hear a thing unless someone was right next to my ears, I could feel the music through my body, which is not something I liked very much.
We spent some time at St.George’s Hall, which, other than a sore head and a strange sensation through my body from the speakers it was rather enjoyable. Walking over to Stanley Street, my biggest fear happened. I just wanted to go home, I could feel myself tearing up and I just didn’t want to be there anymore, my mind was telling me “go home, get out of there” and I really wanted to. However, Adam and a lovely lady named Laura, somehow convinced me to stay. I thank them both very much for that, although I did feel like I was ruining their day for being the way I was. I carried on, even though I felt suicidal and really wanted to get the hell out of there, i kept going. God knows what other people must have thought, I’m trying not to think what others thought, because if I do it will bug me.
Superstar Boudoir, was for the most part, very enjoyable, there were moments where I said I was fine when really I was anything but. I felt odd, uncomfortable at times, and it wasn’t because of where I was or who I was with, it was because in a situation I’d never experienced before, when my mind was anything but the way I would have wanted it to be going to an event like I was at. So many things ran through my mind, things I am not willing to say. I think I was drinking my second pint of iced water, which in Boudoir was rather nice as it was very hot. Upon sipping on my lovely cold water I could feel myself loosing it again, I did my up-most to avoid anything major, I am pretty sure a few tears fell, but as the plastic cup was already wet from the cold it wasn’t too bad, I think I was able to hide it.
When I did leave, getting into the fresh air was very pleasant, just getting on that train, “this train is for West Kirby”, I felt myself relax, I’d been relaxed during the day at times, but maybe other things were masking it, I’m not sure. Regardless I was very glad to get home, it was only half eight but I went to bed because I was so tired and my headache was easing but still bugging me. Fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow.
This morning thinking back on it, overall I enjoyed the day, it was very much out of my comfort zone, but I did it. For that I am rather proud of myself.