Welcome to the
Pride in Canterbury website
A PROUD FAREWELL TO PRIDE IN CANTERBURY
This will be the final item on this website, which to date has had over 25,500 hits. The site will remain on line as it is and will now also be archived.
While we have lived in Canterbury, we have worked, initially through the Canterbury Area Gay Men’s Group , and then for 9 years with Pride in Canterbury, to make the City and surrounding area a better place, in which GLBT people could live. We are sad that the two very successful Gay Pride Days we organised in the City were not able to bring the community together.
We believed in our goals and we still believe that true equality must come to this area one day and that that is important, for both GLBT people and for the City as a whole, but we are not getting any younger, and the opposition and indifference to our work, has made us realise sadly, that it probably will not happen while we can fully enjoy it.
Young, middle-age or old there is little for gay people in Canterbury.
We are therefore moving to Norwich, a vibrant city, where the progress towards GLBT equality is already taking place. We believe that we can be happy there, that it is a city in which we can relax and feel that we belong.
We have lived in Kent, for almost 24 years now, years in which, in spite of the tremendous progress made elsewhere, the GLBT scene has almost disappeared throughout the county. We have made some very good friends and acquaintances during that time. We hope that those true friends will visit us in Norwich.
To everyone, gay or straight, friend or opponent, we wish you pride and we wish you rainbows!
Andy & Martin
" Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."
St Catherine of Sienna.
Quoted by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverent Richard Chartres, at the Royal Wedding 29.4.11
Remember, "You are fabulous creatures each and every one."
"Angels in America" Tony Kushner
" So why is Pride important?
Let me tell you why
The bird that lives life
In a cage lives no life at all.
The bird that never
Sees the sky
Never feels the sun
Is like the caged canary
That only knows one song.
Imagine! Setting that bird free
Letting it be the best canary it could ever be.
That's why Pride's important
And it belongs to everyone
Because we all deserve to be our best
To see the sky, the sun. "
Vince Laws. http://www.vincelaws.com/poems/sfk.htm (Also see below -17.2.12)
ART THERAPY: The Canterbury Diptych. " Gay, grey and blue in the Cathedral City."
See the Awards Page for our 2012 Awards.
23.12.12. To date, after informing them of the situation, we have received no indication from Stonewall, that the Canterbury Tourism Office has responded to them about their failure to display Stonewall's booklet providing information for LGBT visitors to the City
29.10.12. HALLOWEEN HORRORS. In announcing the Pride in Canterbury Awards this year, we wanted to keep the brickbats separate from the bouquets, so we are taking this time of Halloween to exorcise a few of the ghouls and demons that have plagued us. All 3 recipients of our Dead Canary Awards for 2012 go straight into our Hall of Shame
WHY PRIDE IN CANTERBURY WON’T BE ATTENDING THE NATIONAL LGBT HEALTH CONFERENCE.
Below is an email from Paul Swan, who it seems is the nearest the GLBT community gets to a Diversity Officer in Canterbury. It follows the publication of an article about our work and aims, in the July issue of “Attitude”, the gay magazine.
“Dear Mr Lammas,
I have read the interview article you sent through and was disappointed by what I read. This isn’t a picture of Canterbury or Canterbury City Council that I recognise.
I raised your Attitude interview article with the LGBT Health Summit steering group and asked if they, as representatives of the LGBT community, see Canterbury and the Council in the same way as Pride in Canterbury, and they don’t.
Policy & Improvement
Canterbury City Council
T: 01227 862525
In further communications Mr Swan advised us of the National LGBT Health Conference, run by the LGBT Health Summit 2012 Consortium, referred to in his email and to be held in Canterbury on 13th and 14th September, which we had already signed up to attend. Two of the lead partners were the Metro Centre and the Kent & Medway LGBT Reference Group. He seemed to imply that the fact that this conference was taking place proved that all was well for the GLBT community in Canterbury.
We first came into contact with the Metro Centre, when we met Dr Greg Ussher, Deputy CEO at the Metro Centre, when he was running a stall at Thanet Pride. We told him a bit about our work, and he said he would like to meet up with us to talk, as Metro was thinking of opening a centre in Canterbury. As we felt that this would be a significant development for the City, we agreed and a meeting took place. The much–needed Centre was not opened in Canterbury, but we have been in contact with Metro ever since. Pride in Canterbury, is unable to run an Information Service as such, but when parents of a young man who had told them he was gay, contacted us, we referred them to the Metro Centre in Medway, and they later informed us that this had proved helpful.
As Paul Swan’s communications suggested that those running the Conference agreed that the work we are doing on behalf of the GLBT community in the area is unnecessary, we contacted Dr Ussher. His reply was typical. It listed Metro’s policies, but was not prepared to validate or defend, in any way, the work we have done and are doing. A letter to Dr Ussher’s superior, CEO Marguerite McLaughlin, produced a similar reply.
A letter to the Kent & Medway LGBT Reference Group, failed to produce any message of support for our work either.
Over the 9 years Pride in Canterbury has been in existence, we have stressed the importance of a strong GLBT community. Only such a community can best decide what it needs. We need professionals and organisations working in the Canterbury area on behalf of the GLBT community, who themselves come from, and are sympathetic towards, the needs of our community. Thoseneeds should not be assessed by, straight people, however sympathetic they may consider themselves to be. At the moment, the problems and issues of our community, including those of mental health, are frequently placed in the hands of straight people, or at least, people who do not, for whatever reasons reveal themselves to be GLBT.
We have also said that a strong community cannot develop until the City Council and other organisations send out positive messages, that it is good to be “out and proud “. Many GLBT people in the area still basically “in the closets”. They may state, “We don’t need to draw attention to ourselves”, but this is not a positive attitude. It is indicative of poor self-esteem. It is known that there is a high incidence of depression and mental health problems amongst gays.
We have worked to highlight the problems for elderly GLBTs in the area. Age UK responded positively to this; Attend/Community Friends did not.
Homophobia in schools and in sport is still a big issue. Again this can lead to depression and self hatred.
We have constantly stressed the need for more GLBT culture and art in the City to provide visible, positive role models for our community.
But Metro and those organising this National Conference do not think it is worth supporting what we do. In spite of their work, they seem not think this is important. Presumably they have been too busy to check out our work and aims, or perhaps they are too busy guarding their own careers.
We had booked to attend the conference. Now, we will not attend. There is no point. Our voice has been constantly ignored by those in the City with the power to help us to change things. Following the proof of that in Mr Swan’s dismissive emails, and the negative response to our communications from those running and speaking at the Conference, how can we believe it will be listened to during this event?
THE GREAT OLYMPICS OMISSION
A SIGNIFICANT EXAMPLE OF HOW THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE US INVISIBLE
The Olympic Games have been very successful, and we hope that this will prove very beneficial to our country and that there will be true legacy.
Afterwards, Lord Coe stated that the Games had been announced as being “for everyone” and had become the games “by everyone”. In the run up to, and throughout the games, we heard much reference to “Inclusivity” and “Equality”. The implication was that they were now truly in place, but there has been one glaring omission.
Where were the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community?
At Danny Boyle’s much applauded Opening Ceremony, we saw the Suffragette movement depicted, the arrival of the Empire Windrush, bringing passengers from Jamaica to start new lives in the United Kingdom and heralding the start of the significant contribution of the black and other ethnic communities to Great Britain, but where was any mention of the GLBT community’s long and still ongoing battle for true recognition, acceptance and equality, or portrayal of their everyday contribution in thousands of ways to British society? Where were our Heritage and Culture Championed?
As the spotlight was on London, why was London’s Gay Pride celebration not depicted? Why did we see no drag queens, so significant in the fight for gay rights, many of whom work tirelessly, not just to entertain the whole community, but also to raise money for AIDS charities and many other deserving causes? At a time when homophobia in sport is a major problem and there was only one out Team GB athlete competing in the games, why were the Games not used to highlight this? Why were organisations such as Stonewall, Outrage, School’s Out, Mindout and the many other organisations that work to fight homophobic hate crime and promote good self-esteem and mental health for GLBT people throughout the country, ignored? Probably because daily throughout this country and in spite of the Equality Act, we are the one minority group that can be sidelined and ignored often with impunity.
Similarly, at the closing ceremony, the party for “everyone”, why were there no signs of our community; a community which knows how to give a party and frequently brings colour, excitement, glamour and fun into the lives of gay and straight people alike. Where was Elton John, Julian Clary, Sandi Toksvig and others? Surely, as she has come out of retirement for Pantomime this year, the legendary Lily Savage could have been persuaded to attend. The few gays, who were there, were not obviously representing our community. This seems to confirm a worrying suspicion that there is a policy in the country of attempting to homogenise and assimilate us into society, so that we become invisible, diminished. It seems, however, that they were not afraid to borrow from us or use us. The impressive entry of the motorbikes echoed the start of Gay Prides in Los Angeles and San Francisco. David Bowie, who employed a trans image very effectively in the early days of his career, was used merely to introduce British fashion. The event had a male sexist feel to it. There were plenty of women in skimpy clothing, but very little similarly scantily dressed male “eye candy” for us gay men and straight women.
When we need to be planning to nurture young athletes to compete in Rio de Janeiro and beyond, this was a missed opportunity. Research clearly indicates that young GLBT people avoid physical activities during their early days due to homophobia and fear of bullying. This is, no doubt, why Team GB had only one out athlete. The Olympics was an opportunity to send a message to our young people and to all GLBT people in Great Britain and throughout the World that “Gay is Good”. The opportunity was sadly missed. A concerted effort is vitally necessary starting NOW, to work to correct this.
That's the way to do it!
Not Los Angeles! Not San Francisco! Norwich shows Canterbury what Pride is all about.
OUR MESSAGE FROM CALIFORNIA
We have just returned from a wonderful visit to California. The highlights of a holiday filled with marvellous memories, were our witnessing Los Angeles Pride at the beginning and San Francisco Pride towards the end.
In the words of Noel Coward, we’ve been to two marvellous parties and the main things we have learned from them, are the importance of a strong community, and sense of community for everyone. We have witnessed GLBT people getting together to celebrate, themselves, their diversity, other groups and other communities.
Stress is now being put on equality for everyone, everywhere, not just gay men, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups, but ethnic, religious, sporting groups, even gay refuse collectors performed a routine in the parade – and there were a lot of them!
Of course, California is not Utopia, Canterbury is not Hades, and Canterbury will never be LA or SF. We do not want it to be. Our message has always been about the importance of pride, the personal quality, not our organisation, not us. Canterbury must have a strong, vibrant GLBT community, or there will not be true Equality in the City, but that community will only come about if all GLBT members of the community play their part in bringing it about. You do not have to march. You do not have to wear rainbow colours, although it can be great fun if you do, but we need you to decide how YOU can use your individual qualities, interests and talents to help bring equality for everyone to the City. It is going to happen. Let us bring it here sooner rather than later.
And if you are G, L, B, or T and you don’t want to do this, then please take some time to ask yourself why you don’t deserve to be “Out and Proud”.
WE'RE BACK! Watch this site! Also check out the July edition of "Attitude" magazine, available locally, especially the real life feature on pages 144-5.
30.3.12 More bad news from our MP
TAKING A BREAK
Above, you can read a letter from our Member of Parliament, Julian Brazier, when we wrote to him as we had done, successfully, to many MPs, celebrities and members of religious groups asking for a simple message of support. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband, all unfortunately while paying lip service to LGBT equality, have shown no interest when we have presented to them the problems and lack of “Big LGBT Society” that we face in the Cathedral City. Again, remember that when you are voting.
This clearly illustrates the problems we are facing. As gay men living within the Canterbury area, both the City Councillors and the Council and that’s Tories, LibDems and Labour and our elected representative are anti (and that’s homophobic), or indifferent (and given their roles, that’s homophobic too) to the work we are trying to do for the LGBT community.
And that work has been hard. Even members of the LGBT community have been opposed to, and critical of our efforts. When we initiated the City’s first LGBT Singing Group, our aims in setting it up, and our views on the purpose of the group were not respected, even by those who are paid to work on behalf of our community and we decided, that in those circumstances, membership of the group would not be either relaxing or fulfilling and we decided, reluctantly, to leave. The purpose of our work is to make the LGBT community more visible. Have you seen, let alone heard, much of this group? We certainly haven’t.
Well, to paraphrase a well known song, the fight has been too lonely, and the road has been too long - 9 years. We need a break and we are going to take one, for as long as we need.
The aims of, and the need for, Pride in Canterbury, and many of the problems we have faced, can be found here on this website. We know that it has many visitors, but we do not know who you are. Some people, gay or straight, out there must agree with what we are doing, but you never tell us. We need you to. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do support our aims, please, in our absence, write letters or send emails to the Council, to Mr Brazier, to anyone who can, or should help, telling them what you want and need them to do. If you cannot sign your name and if you do feel that you cannot, then that is one of the reasons we exist, so please send your message anonymously. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, please let people know about Pride in Canterbury and how they can help. If you do this, then we would be grateful if you would send us copies of your letter or email for our records.
During our absence, we will be recharging our batteries. We will be visiting towns and cities where the LGBT communities are out and proud, where there are groups meeting up regularly to support each other, socialise, share their problems and their culture and heritage, where the rainbow flags fly and gay people know that they need not hide away in their lonely closets, they can get out into the wider community, be themselves and have fun?
Always remember – you are fabulous creatures, each and every one.
Andy & Martin
We leave you with some good news, both international and local.
Many more rainbow flags flying in Folkestone - see links page
Click on the following link to hear a powerful speech from the General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon act.allout.org/go/907
23.3.12 See our latest supporter on "Messages of Support" Page. Remember to go to last page (6) and click on the message to enlarge it.
Important announcement soon.
Please read item below,
Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Up!
Make sure you do not miss
“LGBT EQUALITY SCANDALS”
A FARCICAL TRAGEDY, PRODUCED AND PERFORMED BY
CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL AND THE MARLOWE THEATRE CANTERBURY.
The plot (as in “conspiracy, secret design”) so far.
2003. We meet with City Council officials, including Janice McGuinness, Head of Culture and Enterprise, to present LGBT needs, including the need for contact with their culture locally.
2003 0nwards. Regular contact with Mark Everett, Director of the council run Marlowe Theatre, requesting and suggesting LGBT drama, dance, musicals etc at the venue.
2003 -2012. No culture of specific LGBT interest appears at the Marlowe Theatre. That’s 9 years following our contact with them, in which our culture has been ignored.
When the new Marlowe was under construction, they boasted that it would be a theatre that would champion diversity. Well, we in the LGBT community know, from years of bitter experience that there is diversity, and there is diversity, and LGBT diversity is always at the bottom of the pile, together with a load of excuses, as to why it can be ignored.
We wrote to Mr Everett in November 2010, reminding him of the importance of LGBT drama in the new theatre and then, when the Theatre opened, we sent our best wishes and asked for details of LGBT plays, musicals etc that were planned for the future “diverse” programme.
When we didn’t get a reply, and understanding that Mr Everett would be involved in resolving the many “teething troubles” that the new theatre was experiencing and that the local press was publicising, we sent a similar enquiry to Janice McGuinness. (A reminder. She is the Head of Culture and Enterprise. We need to remind ourselves occasionally, as she has never initiated any contact with us.) We bet you’ll be surprised at the next bit!
She replied, “I do feel that you are the one in the best position to choose the shows you wish to highlight and promote and it doesn’t seem appropriate for the theatre to be making that selection for you”. At first I thought she was offering me a job.
When I sent a follow up letter, she replied after a month, reiterating the above and stating:
“The Marlowe Theatre has a wide and varied programme of entertainment in both the main house and studio space intended to have broad appeal to the residents of and visitors to Canterbury. Having opened in October, the range of shows being booked for future dates is improving and expanding all the time. I cannot advise you what elements of the programme would particularly appeal to the LGBT community or any other community of interest. In my experience there is likely to be a diverse range of tastes within any group of residents, be that for music, panto, opera, musicals, drama, dance etc. This is a matter of individual taste and is very subjective. The full programme is available on the website, which I believe you are familiar with.”
It seems from these comments, that in spite of their positions, neither the Director of the Marlowe Theatre, nor the City Council’s Head of Culture, are aware of, and do no market research to become aware of, what any members of their audience would like. Have the shows the Marlowe presented all been recommended by the straight Theatre going public in Canterbury? This does seem unlikely from the many criticisms we hear, from straight friends, at the lack of originality in the theatre’s programme, with the same old shows returning year after year. Yet it is what Ms McGuinness says should be happening.
It has become evident that they are not in the least interested in becoming aware of the varied LGBT theatrical culture that is regularly, and often very favourably, reviewed in the national papers. Neither are they aware of the “out and proud” LGBT writers, performers and poets, past and present whose work they could bring to the City.
The City Council, and the Marlowe Theatre, state their commitment to Diversity. Yet, Ms McGuinness clearly states that she believes that it up to us to inform them of, and then highlight and promote, LGBT Theatre. This is typical of the ploy the City Council has used regularly, from our first meeting with them. They throw the onus onto us to say what we need, and then when we do this, and regardless of the work we have done on behalf of our community over many years, they ignore us, merely ticking the necessary boxes. We have informed Mr Everett of exciting drama and entertainment and he has ignored it. It was left to Broadstairs’ Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre to make a significant effort to bring a drama we had recommended to the area last year.
The truth is they are afraid. That is the basis of homophobia. They are afraid that if they bring LGBT culture to the City, it will attract LGBT people to the City. And that is the last thing that they want.
27.2.12 On the 9th February, we reported, just below, on the number of politicians we had written to about Canterbury City Council's indifference, to put it mildly, towards its LGBT community. Politicians who had ignored us. We promised that we would report back on their response.
Well, we have now had a reply from Oliver Wells at the Office of the Conservative Party Co-Chairman. Like the disappointing reply we received fromthe Deputy Prime Minister, while he agrees "that more needs to be done to promote equality for LGBT people" he merely says he will pass my letter on to MPs and the Conservative Party Regional Director "for information", but offers no encouragement or suggestion, that he plans to do anything that will move forward the disgraceful situation in this City.
We repeat, and we will continue to repeat,THERE IS AN EQUALITY ACT IN PLACE. We need action, not empty words from these politicians. We trust that you will remember all this inaction and indifference, when these people need your votes, locally and nationally, in the future
17.2.12 For information about Vince Laws and his Pop Up Pride event in Folkestone go to Entertainments/Books.
9.2.12. We report below ( 24.1.12) the problems we are facing in 2012 and the lack of support we are receiving. With the Equailty Act in place, and remembering how the party leaders lined up, before the General Election, to talk to the gay magazines about their support for us you would think that a letters to a politician would produce positive results.
We are sending out a letter, which asks for support and gives the reasons for the request.
In August, last year, we sent it to various politicians.
We sent to:
Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, because it has been established that there is a high incidence of mental heath problems amongst LGBT people.
Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Culture, because we feel there is a lack of interest and willingness from Canterbury City Council in providing LGBT culture in the area and later to Ed Vaizey Minister for Culture Communications and Creative Industries (14/10).
Ivan Lewis, Shadow Culture Secretary, and later 14/10 to Harriet Harman in this post.
When we received no replies, we emailed John Bercow, the Speaker of the House in late September. He recommended that we approach our local MP, Julian Brazier, and although, having had some contact with Mr Brazier in the past, we were not optimistic, we did this. We did receive a reply from our MP, but although he reported that he had had a “tragic homosexual great uncle who committed suicide”, he stated “I do not feel , however, that I am able to offer any concrete support in the way you were hoping”.
We sent this reply to John Bercow, who then suggested that we write to the Rt. Hon Theresa May the Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities and we did this on 28/11. In November, we also wrote to the you, the Deputy Prime Minister and Baroness Warsi, Co- Chair of the Conservative Party.
Nick Clegg replied stating that the Government was strongly committed to advancing LGBT equality and listing the measures that they had taken, but ignoring the specific problems we are facing in Canterbury and our request for direct support.
So, in spite of there being an Equality Act in place, out of 12 MP’s that we contacted, 9 have ignored the letter. We have not even received the courtesy of acknowledgements from them. This is indicative of the indifference and lack of respect we have experienced widely over more than 8 years of campaigning, including from Canterbury City Councillors.
Julian Brazier replied but refused to help us.
The Deputy PM replied but ignored our problem.
John Bercow, while stating that it was not appropriate for him to help us directly, did at least refer us to those who he felt should.
We have sent the above information to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Oppositon. We await their comments.
1.2.12. A display for LGBT History Month opens today at the temporary library in Pound Street, Canterbury. Pride in Canterbury are again very pleased to have been jointly responsible with the library for this event, which features, important books in the history of the gay rights movement, and also a review of the work PiC has done over 8 years. Please go in and have a look.
24.1.12 Just who are the gang above who are flying the Rainbow Flag? (See Links Page)
And who is our latest star supporter? (See Supporters Page 6.)
And please don't miss the important article below.
2012 A YEAR OF CHANGE?
At Pride in Canterbury, we have always tried to be honest with our readers.
At the start of 2012, we have to admit, that the going is getting tougher. Over the eight years we have been campaigning, we have sent out letters asking for support for our work. You have seen the response we have received and been delighted with. Because we are still nowhere near achieving our aims, last summer we began to send out more letters , giving as much information about the problems we face and asking for help.
We sent out to over 70 people and organisations. We obviously did not send out to people who we did not think would be sympathetic, with one exception, about whom more later. We sent to those who we thought would, those we thought might, and to those we thought should, be prepared to help us.
To date, we have been disappointed with the response. We have received nine positive responses, 5 of those from people we know to be gay. We received 1 reply from a politician who gave us helpful advice.
We can think of several reasons for this disappointing response. People are busy. People think all gay problems in this country have been solved - everywhere. People have their own causes. People mean to reply and forget. People are more homophobic, than they like to admit. Or, people believe, as we were told when we started this venture, “Canterbury is a Christian Cathedral City” which we should not “contaminate”.
There are many reasons. There is also an Equality Act in place and because of this there are the people, locally and nationally, who should support our work and are refusing to do so. We will spend this coming year, 2012, a year of change we are told, drawing attention to the shortcomings and the prejudices of these people and we will report to you our successes and our inability to produce results.
We ask for your support. We can no longer guarantee that we will inform you of the latest interesting LGBT events and cultural items. You know how to find all that out. We are pleased with the number of hits that our website is getting, but it is frustrating not knowing whether friends or foes are visiting us. If you agree with and appreciate what we are doing then we want to hear from you and we need your support. We have had over 11,000 hits on this website. When we are attacked in the press, as no doubt we will be again, it would be good if a few of those, who agree with our aims, wrote to support our campaigns. Facebook?
In the January 2012 edition of Gscene, a full page article describes the problems that have led to Kevin Grice resigning from the Chair of Thanet Pride and the closure of Thanet Pride. He states, “The gay community generally will take anything that’s free, but ask them for help and you’re dead” and added “I hope that the gay communities in Thanet come to understand that Pride events are not ‘our right’ but have to be worked at”. At Pride in Canterbury, we would widen that. “We hope that gay communities in Kent come to understand that being LGBT “out and proud” is our right and we must all work together to bring that about”.
We said we would tell you the truth.
DIVIDED WE ARE FALLING. TOGETHER WE CAN GIVE KENT PRIDE.
18.1.12 PART OF GSCENE ONLINE'S REPORT OF OUR 2011 AWARDS.
Gscene editor James Ledward said:
"I am flattered and thank the organisers of Pride in Canterbury for these two awards. All the contributors who donate their time to write for Gscene share my principles of equality and social justice for all LGBT people whether they live in Brighton, Truro or Canterbury.
" It is important that LGBT people in emerging LGBT communities in the South of England feel supported by the magazine in their inevitable battles with statutory authorities who lack a 'respect agenda' when dealing with the communities of interest. This has been particularly evident in how the work of Pride in Canterbury has been ignored by the City Council in Canterbury.
"I wish Pride in Canterbury good luck for the future and keep up the good work."
Thankyou James. We will!
14.1.12 You can now check out the latest Pride in Canterbury Awards. Are they controversial, fair, deserved? You decide. Go to Awards 2011.
13.1.12 FRIDAY THE 13TH AND AM I BOVVERED?
I wasn't very happy yesterday as you can see below.
Then we realised, that the Gazette had been critical of the council run new Marlowe Theatre lately, and no doubt editor Leo Whitlock felt he needed to expiate his sins by making sacrifice to he whose name must not be mentioned and the other dark gods at Military Road.
And then we realised that, there is no such thing as bad publicity and that PRIDE IN CANTERBURY HAD MADE THE EDITORIAL!
Thanks Leo! We'll carry on "sniping", though we don't agree we do it from the sidelines. We believe in what we are doing and who knows, perhaps one day these irritants will one day bring pearls to the City.
Keep watching. Lots more to follow!
12.1.12 THE GAZETTE GIVETH AND THE GAZETTE TAKETH AWAY.
Today's Kentish Gazette features a very balanced article on our 2012 awards by Alex Claridge, who has always reported our issues fairly. The Editorial then stabs us firmly in the back, dismissing our 8 years of work, ignoring the issues and lining themselves up proudly with the City Council and all the bigots who dread a thriving LGBT community in the City. We appreciate the help and support of the people who understand what we are trying to do. We will fight on without false friends and will have no further communication with the Gazette. To know what we are doing, you will need to read this site. WE DO NEED THE HELP OF EVERYONE, GAY OR STRAIGHT WHO BELIEVE IN OUR CAUSE.
We will print full details of our 2012 Awards very soon.
21.12.11 We will announce the 2011 Pride in Canterbury Awards early in January! More than ever, with just a few brickbats, and we introduce our Hall of Fame!
16.12.11 They're flying the flag.
C J's Baguettes in, St Margarets Street, Canterbury are supporting our "Rainbow Sticker Campaign" and we had lunch there yesterday. It was a most enjoyable meal, their prices are very reasonable, the staff are friendly and efficient and the atmosphere is welcoming and warm. We recommend that you check them out.
Here are some more messages of support for our campaign.
7.11.11. Look out for "Weekend", a film that is getting "everyone must see" reviews!
FLYING THE RAINBOW FLAG IN CANTERBURY
During a very positive meeting, that we had recently with a local caring organisation, that was keen to learn about our aims, we were asked whether it would helpful to display rainbow stickers at the entrance to their building. We were pleased to be able to explain that, when these stickers are displayed, it suggests that the organisation is gay-friendly and is more likely to make LGBT people welcome. They are therefore, more likely to be interested in becoming involved with, or patronising that establishment.
Regular visitors to this website, will know that, for at least 8 years now, we have been saying, that it would be financially beneficial to Canterbury and the surrounding area, to demonstrate a willingness to welcome LGBT visitors and indeed residents to the City. Canterbury should welcome “The Pink Pound”, especially in these difficult financial times.
We have therefore liaised with “Banana Rainbow” a company who have had a stall at Canterbury and Thanet Gay Pride Days and they have generously donated to us some of these stickers. Many thanks to BananaRainbow for their support. We will provide these stickers, free of charge, initially to the first 100 gay-friendly establishments and organisations in the City, Whitstable and Herne Bay, if they contact us with details at email@example.com
3.11.11 It is very interesting that the first three letters of support we have received have been from members of the Church. We print below, a letter from the Reverend Richard Coles, whose fascinating programme "Out in the World: A Global Gay History" was recently featured on BBC Radio 3.
19.10.11 Death of Gay Activist. (See Latest News Page.)
Why people are staying in the closet. See Latest News
Important message from Jewish Lesbian and Gay Group, see below and Quotations page
As the City continues to ignore its LGBT community, seemingly unable, or unwilling, to accept that we live in the 21st Century, with an Equality Act in place, we have written to important people and organisations, asking them to join the list of those who understand and support our aims. We will put some letters and emails on this home page as they arrive and all will eventually be on the Messages of Support page.
We are pleased to have received this powerful and important message from the Jewish Lesbian and Gay Group. We have edited it here, and the full message, which we would urge you to read, can be found on the Quotations page.
JEWISH GAY AND LESBIAN GROUP – EMAIL 27.9.11 (Edited version)
The Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group are proud to support your cause. Please find below a speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu which sums up what we all believe.
By Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Friday, March 12, 2010
In Africa, a step backward on human rights
Hate has no place in the house of God.
No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity - or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity. It is time to stand up for another wrong.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God's family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.
Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear. And they are living in hiding - away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen, and away from health care in the AIDS era, when all of us, especially Africans, need access to essential HIV services. That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is
that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God.
The wave of hate that is underway must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.
The writer is Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
City's first LGBT Church! See Latest News Page.
City wins major marketing award. Latest News Page.
Stop Press! Exciting Radio programme. See Latest News Page.
1.9.11. Will cuts harm local LGBT Youth? See Latest News.
23.8.11. Festival programme is still Rosie - unfortunately. We'll try to bring some good news soon. See Latest News.
8.8.11. S.O.S. Please, everyone see GScene Editorial below.
S.O.S! S.O.S! S.O.S! S.O.S!
In this part of the world, we see many collections for various charities, but none for LGBT charities. Please see the urgent message from James Ledward, Editor of the excellent GScene Magazine. Pride in Canterbury will make a donation to the Sussex Beacon www.sussexbeacon.org.uk and we hope that everyone, gay or straight, who reads our website will donate to either that charity or an LGBT charity of their choice
5.8.11 Important new record of our history. See Books page
5.8.11 Interesting new Ewan Mcgregor film and dance drama at the Gulbenkian. See Entertainments Page, Films & Plays.
21.7.11 THREE NEW ARTICLES see Latest News page
Examples of how we are ignored
3 Important Publications
Home and Away
NINE BOB NOTES
Next rehearsal Tuesday 16th August 7.30pm at the Friends Meeting House, Canterbury
New LGBT members welcome.
Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
26.6.11. CANTERBURY LGBT GROUP CREATES HISTORY!
23.5.11. Campaign to pay tribute to 2 great entertainers. See Ents Page.
19.5.11. East Kent's LGBT Singing Group now has a name! New members always welcome. For more details See News Page 3.
17.5.11. Funny, sexy and moving new novel travels back in time. See Ent/Books .
2.5.11. Royal Wedding message for the LGBT community. See above.
Friday 22nd April. Exciting new film project. Can you help? See Films Page. (Please make sure you have read the 2 items below!)
Thursday 21st April. Elections follow up. News Page 3.
Wednesday 13th April With the local City Council elections being held on May 5th, please make sure you read the new item on News Page 3 before you vote.
See also who is entertaining the naughty Mr Sloane in Whitstable! See Events Page.
Tuesday 12th April 7.30pm First rehearsal of the LGBT singing group, at the Friends Meeting House, The Friars, Canterbury. New members very welcome - just come along
DEATH OF DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR. Click here
25th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 31st March - 6th April. Details www.bfi.org.uk/llgff
15.3.11 A show we'd like to see in the UK. See Entertainments.
AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT TWINKLE LITTLE STAR AT THE SARAH THORNE THEATRE. SEE EVENTS Click here
30.1.11 Young boy's tragic death. See News Page 3.
PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT ITEM. Click here
LGBT HISTORY MONTH 2011
This year the events below show how much more exciting this annual event becomes year on year. We hope you are able to enjoy some, if not all, of these events. We look forward to seeing you at sometime
Tuesday 8th February at 7.45pm to 9pm. Admission Free.
A joint event between Canterbury Library and Pride In Canterbury at Canterbury Library
Share your favourite LGBT novels
Discover, discuss and debate LGBT authors and recommended reads.
Everyone is welcome. Tel 01227 463608
Derek Jarman Events at Gulbenkian Cinema, Canterbury
Thursday 10th February
Jarman Memorial Lecture 5pm. Free Admission
The School of Arts at the University of Kent is proud to present this first Derek Jarman Memorial Lecture: James Mackay producer, film programmer and long time collaborator of Jarmans will speak about Derek’s life and work.
Screening of ‘Blue’ 7.30pm. Free Admission
For more details visit www.thegulbenkain.co.uk
LGBT HISTORY MONTH EVENT at Margate Library
As part of LGBT History Month author and comedienne VG Lee is coming to Margate Library's Gateway Plus to talk about her recently published book of short stories, "As You Step Outside".
The event will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 12th February.
Tickets are free from the Library. For more information contact Jane Bex 01843 223626
Quarterhouse Theatre, Tontine St, Folkestone
Thursday 17th February 8PM £4.50
Screening of 'Howl' Cert 18. 84mins. (Film is a biog of gay poet Allen Ginsberg and the famous poem. (Stars : James Franco and MadMen star Jon Hamm)
(This replaces 'Milk' as was originally intended.)
24.1.11 Nepal shows Canterbury the way! See News 3. Click here
17.1.11 New fun gay novel. See Ents. Books Page. Click here
LGBT History Month event at Margate Library. Because we are having problems with our Events Page, see Ents. Books Page. Click here
16.1.11 Plans for a singing group move forward. See Entertainments Page.
7.1.11 We are pleased to announce the Pride in Canterbury Awards for 2010. New category for someone who might have been given the OBE, but is certainly no friend of our community. See Awards page.
Plus 2 exciting new events. See Events page.
4.1.11. We hope 2011 will be happy, healthy, successful and very gay for you all!
2.12.10. Queer books. See Ents/Books Page
24.11.10. Warning over new "lesbian" film. See Entertainments/Film Page.
12.11.10. Unfriendly Whitstable Friends? But 4 very welcome pieces of news. See News 3.
PLUS Transgender Workshop 13th December. See Events Page.
2.11.10. Gay Film Talk raises important issues. See News 3.
World Aids Day Service. See Events Page.
Film about lesbian mothers. See Entertainments/Film
7.10.10 Putting some religous views into humorous perspective. See Letters Page.
27.9.10 Excellent Paul O'Grady interview. See News Page 3.
22.9.10 Clare wins her complaint. See News Page 3.
Interested in singing/drama? See Entertainments Page.
Canterbury Festival's LGBT appeal. See Entertainments Page.
Gay play script available. See Entertainments Page/Plays.
2.9.10 Gazette's sensational "Cottaging" report. News Page 3.
25.8.10 Positive NHS response to Observer Mental Health Article. News Page 3.
23.8.10 Important issue of Attitude Magazine. See News 3 page.
18.8.10 So Cromwell's Army (Canterbury 2010) was defeated. Perhaps they should have gone over to the Gay Cavaliers?
6.8.10 Diva Magazine Editor on lack of queer representation on TV. See News page 3.
1.8.10 Balding Bites Back. See News Page 3.
Peter Tachell speaks. See Quotation Page.
14.7.10 Council's shining initiative! See News Page.
5.7.10 Canary delivers important message. See Entertainments.
23.6.10 Council Capers. See News Page 1
15.6.10 Kent Poster Campaign. See Contacts/Links.
3.6.10 David Laws resignation. See News 3.
2.6.10 Nationwide Gay Radio station. See News 3.
4.5.10 An opinion on Pride. See Quotations Page.
21.4.10 Opportunity to run City's 1st successful gay bar still open!
30.3.10 How gay are we? See Quotations.
4.2.10 Pope attacks gays and the Equality Law. (News 3)
Please check it out regularly for new items. Please note that each main page may have additional pages, which are accessed by clicking on the bar above the page title e.g. "Quotations" above this page.