Today (Saturday) will see the Brighton Pride in full swing - that's the big one, the nationally-known one, for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. It's meant to include trans people as well, but trans people had their own Pride last weekend, and strictly speaking there is no need for any trans person to attend the Pride this weekend unless they are not only trans, but gay or lesbian or bisexual as well. A straight trans person has no especial reason to take an interest in it.
Of course, regardless of sexual orientation, anybody who likes a lively scene and a noisy crowd, and wants a good excuse to behave rather outrageously all day long, will make a point of turning up and getting the most out of it. Nowadays Brighton Pride is Everyone's Pride, and ordinary straight people looking for a bit of fun probably outnumber the gay, lesbian and bisexual participants many times over.
Here are some scenes from the 2010 Pride. See if you can spot the gay and lesbian contingent!
So will I be there in 2014? The simple answer is no. But the decision-making process is not straightforward.
Question number one: Do I love loud, raucous, non-stop public street parties?
No. (But there are two more questions)
Question number two: Am I lesbian? Even if I'm not a party animal, I should surely attend if lesbian.
Well am I? In the old life I was 'straight' - I was always attracted to women and never to men. But having leapt through the looking-glass, my continued attraction to women changes 'straight' to 'lesbian'. The snag here is that 'attraction' is too strong a word. I was never a very sexy person, and with testosterone all but eliminated from my post-op body, I now have no libido at all. I still prefer the company of women to the company of men. But that's only saying that I like to hang out with the girls, and not the boys. It doesn't say that I am sexually interested in women. I'm only guessing that I would be, if my sex drive were a lot more intense. In any case, I am loath to get involved with anyone, so nothing can be put to the test.
If pressed to prove my sexual orientation beyond doubt, I'd have a problem. I am really no more than a 'presumed lesbian', and that carries no weight at all out on the street. However, this low-grade status does absolve me of any 'duty' to attend Pride that is based on sexual orientation.
Question number three: Even if I'm only weakly or doubtfully lesbian, don't I feel that Pride celebrates a struggle that is common to the entire LGBT spectrum? In other words, attendance is a political gesture of solidarity that I ought to make?
Hmmm. One shouldn't forget that the partying and parading that has become a Big Day Out for so many was originally the solemn and defiant march of the few. Only a generation ago, to be gay or lesbian was to invite serious trouble. And if it could ever take place, the Moscow (or Ugandan) equivalent to Brighton Pride would be very much a stand-up-and-be-counted political statement. And yet the original gay/lesbian struggle, now ultimately successful, has made it easier for the later trans struggle to make faster headway. There's a definite political/social debt to be acknowledged.
But I'm not a political animal either. If I'm going to serve the Revolution, I will do it through the blog, and not by mingling with a tipsy crowd.
Apart from all this, the possibility of parking Fiona anywhere closer than Saltdean is non-existent. A waste of diesel, even to go down on the off-chance of a space!