BiTopia at Notts Pride 2016

by nottmbitopia

Here is a very belated post to share photos from our third time participating in the Nottinghamshire Pride Parade in July.

I started the morning by arriving early to meet people who wanted to join BiTopia for the parade through the city centre. I know there are reservations and criticisms regarding the commercialisation of Prides (which I share too) but I still love to see local and national businesses put signs, flags, and rainbow coloured items on display. It makes me feel more supported, fosters an atmosphere of celebration, and raises awareness in the city centre that Pride is happening.

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The photo shows four business decorated for Pride. A brightly coloured rainbow display in a local bead shop, a Costa & Sainsbury’s with banners, and the Hartley’s cafe cow wrapped in a rainbow flag.

As we stood waiting to set off we passed around signs, flags, banners, whistles, etc. and took photos of each other. There was a great buzz in the air as the fire engine drove into place and the samba music began – and then we were off!

One thing I love about Nottinghamshire Pride is that the city is so small the parade effectively shuts down all pedestrian streets through the centre making us very visible. People have to see and hear some our messages. They have to wait for us to pass. It is a wonderful (albeit brief) take over.

For me this Pride felt different from previous ones I’ve attended. It felt more inclusive of minority groups within the LGBTQ+ umbrella that are normally ignored, erased, and discriminated against as QTIPOC Notts and Notts BLM led the parade followed by local trans and bi groups. This was the first time I have ever seen a BME group lead a pride parade. I hope it happens more often in the future.

BiTopia attendance was difficult to count as many people were there holding signs and flags to support and represent more than one group which was great to see.

There was also a minutes silence for victims of the Orlando shootings which happened the month before.

As usual I have barely been able to find any photos of the bi, trans, QTIPOC and BLM groups in the media. This erasure angers, saddens, and disgusts me.

However BiTopia flags and members are visible in the background on the ITV news website, and there is a photo of QTIPOC members and the Chameleons banner there too. Communities Inc also have a shot of BiTopia members and a very brief video clip of BLM leading the parade. The Notts Post website has a photo featuring a lot of trans groups and trans flags.

A few more of my photos are below:

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The first photo shows my view of the front of the parade waiting to set off. Everyone is facing away from the camera. Bi, trans, and rainbow flags are visible. There are signs against bi erasure. Intersectional signs with messages such as ‘Black Lesbian Lives Matter’ or ‘Black Nonbinary Lives Matter’ are also being held in the air.

 

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A photo of some of the people walking in the parade with BiTopia. They are smiling and holding signs and bi flags. Some have rainbow coloured flowers round their necks and/or bi flags round their shoulders like capes. The main BiTopia banner is visible. The message reads ‘Bringing together bi people in the East Midlands.’

 

After the parade BiTopia members met up in various different venues around the city centre to socialise.

I have now left the area so this will be my last Nottinghamshire Pride for a while but I am really proud of what we have achieved over the past 3 years and have many great memories. Thank you to everyone for your support during these last three Prides.

If you still live in the area you are most welcome to join BiTopia for Pride in 2017!

 

Hannah

 

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