On Saturday, Joe and I went on our long planned trip down to Brighton for another Pride (that’s three in counting, if you include Soho Pride the weekend before which consisted of me walking round in the bloody hot sun with a sore throat, scowling at all the pretty boys with their superior immune systems). We caught the train, pepped up with sugary drinks and the fact that we had the whole day together.
We’d planned to have time away from the maddening London crowds. Joe suffers from gay status anxiety every now and then, which isn’t helped by the fact that the third in our triptych of good gay friends, Sam, is a bit of an it
So we ran away to Brighton. It felt good. The sky was that impossible blue and we slipped into comfortable silences once we’d talked about all the obvious things. We changed trains at East Croyden and chugged along until we hit Preston Park. Outside the train station they gave us maps and a little card that had return journey times. “Here you go, sexy” said the boy handing them out. His underwear was poking up out of his trousers. That’s all I remember about him.
Everybody in the whole of Brighton must have been at the park. You could almost hear the looters rallying their looter friends and jumping in the back of pick-up vans, yelling “We got us some lootin’ to do!” There were children covered in glitter with fairy wings and fairies covered in body paint and a variety of glitter. Joe and I avoided the bigger dance tents. We bought beer and under the influence of a sunshine alcho-buzz we took off our tops in one of the smaller tents, both pale and flabby in places, hairy in a few others, and we danced like there would be no more Pride if we stopped, that the tents would collapse and the rides and stalls and the place where they hand out free lube and the meeting points and the women’s live music arena would fade away and disappoint everyone, that’s how much we danced.