The boy who dare not mention the fact he is gay to his work colleagues, grandparents and teammates in the cricket team can be open about his sexuality at Pride. Pride is that kind of environment, and Liverpool Pride is no exception. 2 August 2014 saw an abundance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people hit the streets of Liverpool in celebration of who they are; heterosexuals also turned up to support the LGBT community.
At roughly 11:40am, a glam fairy tale march through the city began. I was so happy to see Liverpool Football Club take part. Other participants included Merseyside police, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Asda. A small number of protesters featured on route; gleeful marchers cheered even louder as they passed them. The parade was followed by performances from a variety of artists, including the energetic and talented Katy B.
Liverpool Pride first happened five years ago and does so every year at the same time as the anniversary of Michael Causer’s death. He was a teenager from Whiston killed because he was gay. 2 August 2014 marked 6 years to the day he died. His mother, Marie Causer, led the Pride parade along with other members of the family and people from the Michael Causer Foundation. I asked her how important a response is Pride to the tragic death of her son. She answered: “It’s important but, at the same time, it shouldn’t have to be. Michael was killed for living the life that he chose to live. He was happy, everyone was happy for him. They shouldn’t have to come out and parade the street because of LGBT. They should be allowed to live how they want to live. They shouldn’t have to parade but, at the same time, I think it’s good for them to be able to come out and march. They’re out, they’re proud, so that’s it. If they feel they have to do that, well they have to do it”.
Liverpool Pride 2014 took place on the same day I newspaper reported sentiments of the new chief executive of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt, who said preschool children should be educated about gay relationships. I wondered if Lyndsey Jamieson from Hugh Baird College (one of Pride’s sponsors) agreed. “Definitely,” she said, “it’s just a natural part of life; [there will be] lots of young children that do already have mum and mum parents or father and father parents so I don’t see any issue, there’s no reason to filter it out so early”.
The best thing about the day for me was seeing the crowd march on triumphantly and joyously despite the weather. “The rain didn’t put anyone off, did it?” I asked Marie Causer. “No, it didn’t,” she said, “snow, anything, wouldn’t put us off. Every year I’ll be here. I’ll lead them round. I’ll be stood in front of them”.