Owing to Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games monopolising the city’s attention for six months (and what a fantastic Games time it was!) Pride 2022 took place in September as it had the prior year, instead of its usual May slot. Unlike the prior year, it was quite chilly. Nonetheless our LGBTQ+ community and its allies put its best stiletto heeled foot forward for a fun-packed weekend across the gay village and the festival site, Smithfields.
It’s been difficult couple of years for the LGBTQ+ community with attacks continuing apace globally, and in particular our Trans community have suffered at the hands of right wing mouths on legs, translating to an increase in hate crime. At Pride, well-known drag queen Fat Butcher talked to us about TERFs performatively tearing up the new and inclusive Progress Pride Flag, and that the flag has changed over the years for reasons of pragmatism and politics, she said: “You may try to cut the stripes from our flags but you’ll never cut them from our community … bringing together all our colours we fight together … and celebrate each other on our own terms”.
A minute’s silence was held for those who had been lost over the last year including Roma drag queen Cherry Valentine, who had competed on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and Birmingham gay scene legend Carlos Medina, a circus star who’d performed in front of camp icons such as Barbara Cartland.
The line up of acts over the weekend was spectacular and culminated with a Sunday night double billing of superstars Mel C, and Steps. Both put on a brilliant entertaining show, which could be heard as far away as Solihull apparently (LOLs!).
Birmingham Pride 2023 will move back to its normal slot, the late May bank holiday weekend, 27th to 28th May 2023. With the continuing development in the gay village and its surrounds it’s likely that Pride will not be able to be held in the city centre over coming years – the Smithfield site development is now planned to have a smaller festival area than was first promised so the festival may have to relocate to somewhere like Cannon Hill park.
Thanks to all of the amazing acts, and the organisers who put on a spectacularly entertaining weekend.
And now a few photos…