To mark Bristol Virtual Pride 2020 Rebecca O’Regan, Health and Safety Rep for Strategic Communications and Marketing recounts their first pride experience.

Manchester Pride 1999 was an experience like no other. It was a celebration in the truest sense of the word. A celebration of being Northern, gay, lesbian, straight, young, old and any nationality. As long as you were there to have a good time, look fabulous, have a dance and chat to anyone and everyone, you were “in”.

Canal street in the Gay Village, where Pride is held is an odd mix of huge, old, dark mills and warehouses, towering over a cobbled road and then the centuries old canal. These buildings once housed machinery which produced cotton for the world market in floor upon floor of hot, dusty, noisy and cramped conditions, now converted into the most fashionable, glass fronted, hedonistic bars in the North.

The atmosphere of that Pride was electric and always warm, friendly and flamboyant. The party would run through the Friday night to the following day, both in the bars and clubs, and the same for Saturday night through to Sunday, spilling out of the clubs and onto the cobbles. The house music never stopped and probably each and every person took away a tune from that weekend which served as a treasured reminder of Pride for years, even decades later. I know I did😊

Part of our Pride season

Alice Smith
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