Aug 22, 2023·edited Aug 22, 2023Liked by Joshi Herrmann, Mollie Simpson

I came to the comments section to lavish praise on Adam Crafton who without his efforts the club may have stuck with it's original decision, I give the Athletic (and sometimes Adam) a bit of stick but credit where it's due here, it would have been far, far easier for him to sit on his hands and do nothing like other prominent journalists do that cover the club but he did whatever the opposite of the path of least resistance is here, superb work *clapping hand emoji x3*

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I was on the protest march in 2021, carrying a sign that said "take back Pride." Under Fletcher's control, Manchester Pride became hollowed out; a ring-fenced experience where vast sums of money are thrown into producing a music festival, and more goes on staff costs than is donated to LGBT charities in the city. Ariana Grande came before supporting the community - infamously, in 2019, one of the Pride Ambassadors (who lived in London) said that she couldn't "turn up wearing bin bags" to justify the cost of getting her to come to Pride.

I'm deeply sceptical that, with the same leadership as before, Manchester Pride will be about more than getting the largest number of people drunk in the shortest time possible, whilst shunting everything else to the side. Last year I tried to get into the vigil, and was turned away for not having a wristband; the idea that we need to pay Manchester Pride to get onto a public street to go to a vigil for members of the community who we've lost is, simply, vile.

Pride needs a wholesale house cleaning. I was lucky enough to go to Seattle Pride earlier this year; there were no ticketed gates, no wristbands. Instead there was a gay village full of community groups and local businesses offering all sorts of ways to join in and be part of a community; alongside bars and clubbing and the rest. It was an expression of a range of possible ways to be queer and happy and part of something. And this, of course, in a country with a fair share of hate and violence. Pride could be so much in Manchester; with the Gay Village, we have an amazing possible space to do lots with. Instead, it is run as a music festival, by people who think that it is all it needs to be.

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