As you know, I went to Doncaster Pride by myself as Raven was away with her dad in Spain. She was very upset she was going to miss the festival for the second year. I was upset too because I really wanted to share the experience with her.
Suddenly Manchester popped in my head. I checked it out and Manchester Pride would start the day she returned from Spain. Bingo!
Manchester is arguably the UK’s LGBT capital. It is also the place I consider home. It’s where I went to University, felt free to explore and found myself. No other place feels like it for me, not even where my ‘real’ home is.
Pride there is a four day event, starting on a Friday and going on throughout the weekend until Bank Holiday Monday. I got us weekend tickets and paid a small fortune for our hotel due to the last minute arrangements. It didn’t matter. All I wanted was to be there and be with my daughter.
I also got tickets for two of her friends we met at Manchester’s Anime Con: two lovely LGBT kids who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise.
We walked around, danced, sang; we saw many concerts (Sigala, Alexandra Burke, Samantha Mumba, Todrick Hall and Rita Ora) and I got very drunk one night (a combination of eating too light because of my current diet and too much vodka made available by some great people we met while queuing to enter the main stage.
I made a fool of myself and Raven is not letting it go anytime soon… but it was all for good fun and an incredibly special bonding experience.
Twice we were mistaken for a couple and laughed it off – she looks older than she is and I look younger and we’re often mistaken for friends or sisters anyway.
The whole atmosphere is amazing and electric. Love and acceptance flow. I promised her we’re going back next year. I can’t wait!