Review: Cardiff Wales LGBT Mardi Gras 2013
Cardiff Wales LGBT Mardi Gras
Saturday 31st August 2013
People this year have scoffed at the idea of paying for our Mardi Gras. But for me it was the first time I had ever gone, even if it had been free in the past.
The LGBT spectrum seems to be getting bigger every year since we now add QIA at the end of the abbreviation. Would I venture into new territory here? Could I rekindle a sense of pride and commitment to the gay man that I am? There was only one way to find outâ€¦
One thing was certain; it felt like a very relaxed environment. No one was judged for being who they are and it made for a very uplifting day. I could relax and be witness to the flock of other people who also regard themselves as such. Others would have seen how content I was. Plenty of stalls handed out freebees. A bag full of mints, flyers, a pink kite (which I’ve yet to fly) and even condoms. I was pleased that the latter were given out. The education of safe sex is of the utmost importance. The lady at the stand told me not to be embarrassed for asking for them, she would encourage it. I took eightâ€¦
Although the thought of Rylan being there did make me cringe, he was not as bad as I thought he would be. Beverley Knight was the main event and certainly worth sticking around for once we had finished up at TheSprout stand. Although not really on the scene the past few years, her voice has yet to fade and she belted out I Am What I Am and other songs she made her own. The most inspiring thing was her comments for standing up and defending LGBTQIA people. This made for very rousing cheers from the crowd and a near tear in my eye. She was presented with a gift of a large image of her adjourned with the LGBT rainbow. She clearly loved it and was smitten.
If there was a sour note it was the disciplines enforced by the Stadium. We couldn’t take food or drink in from outside, we couldn’t have the bottle caps from bought drinks and you could not claim readmit yourself once left (even though we all had tickets). A hotdog that was cold and had my colon doing the conga did not help. I felt TheSprout stand was tucked away by the stage (alongside two buses) with the others stands getting heaps of attention. Perhaps if we go next year a prime place would be in order? One guy wanted me to put a Sprout sticker below his waist. I put it by his navel and walked off with a smirk on my face. Three lads in a cubicle also suggested something dodgy as I waited to use the toilet.
If asked would I go back I would definitely say yes. Even more likely if it was free.
And for a comment about the situation we're in, things will only get better and easier for us. It’s all a matter of timeâ€¦
Photo Credit: Steph Blakemore