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Camp dogs and committed queens

Wayne Clews is already looking ahead to Pride weekend: plus recommendations this week

Published on June 2nd 2008.


Camp dogs and committed queens

It may seem a little premature to be getting in a tizz about this year’s Manchester Pride: after all, the festival doesn’t kick off until 15 August. However, the reason I’m bringing Pride to your attention so soon is not simply so that those dreary little fashionista poofs can start planning their outfits for the occasion, but because Manchester Pride is actively courting people to get involved.

Judging by the number of my neighbours who can be seen trotting about at dusk with preposterous little dogs that could fit inside your average clutch-bag there should be lots of entries. It seems that camp canines are the latest gay accessory.

Yes, in a strangely camp version of the Lord Kitchener recruitment poster, your festival needs you. Manchester Pride is celebrating its eighteenth birthday this year and is looking for nine couples to volunteer to take part in a group civil partnership ceremony on Thursday 21 August. The service will take place either at the Manchester Renaissance or Marriott Victoria and Albert Hotel , followed by a private party for the friends and families of the people involved.

This is all a far cry from a few years ago, when I tipsily agreed to participate in a ‘gay wedding blessing’ at Pride prior to all this Civil Partnerships malarkey. My other half and I found ourselves standing in a puddle in a tent, hastily erected on a car park, with eighty-odd other couples, a number of whom had clearly just stumbled out of Essential and thought getting ‘married’ might be a laugh. To an unnerved observer, the whole spectacle must have looked like some gay division of the Moonies. However, a Civil Partnership is a much more serious prospect and, of course, legally binding. Think long and hard, and very soberly, before saying yes.

On a more frivolous note, organisers have launched a search for Pride Pooch 2008. Judging by the number of my neighbours who can be seen trotting about at dusk with preposterous little dogs that could fit inside your average clutch-bag there should be lots of entries.

It seems that camp canines are the latest gay accessory. So if you think your little Snuffles has what it takes to be crowned queen for a night, e-mail a picture and an explanation of why the beast should win, in no more than 20 words to Manchester Pride, and the two of you could win a luxurious night in the Malmaison.

Contributions are also required for an exhibition to be held at Urbis entitled My First Pride. Photographs, recollections and memorabilia are sought to bring the past vividly to life. And, let’s not forget, Pride relies heavily on volunteers to make the whole shebang happen at all. Roles available include stewards, administrators, promotions, recycling and street collectors. For full information on the opportunities available, visit www.manchesterpride.com and, if you buy your early bird ticket now, it only costs £12.50.

Recommended

Homoelectric
Legends, 6 June, 10pm-4am
The night for homos, heteros, Lesbos and don’t-knows is back. The excellent line-up includes Jamie Bull, Shit Robot, and a DJ set from Belle and Sebastian, plus a whole host of queer quirkiness.

Retro Flip
Essential, 6 June, 10.30pm-5am
Essential launch another version of their popular Flip nights and invite everyone to dress up in their favourite retro gear. Rhoda Horse and Chrissy Darling are your inimitable hostesses.

Drama Queen
Cruz 101, 7 June, 11pm-6am
After the club recently celebrated 16 years of gay business, Cruz keeps the music playing at this Saturday night shindig where there is something for everyone.

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