Exploring LGBT+ people’s experiences of Pride events in the UK: Contrasting safeties, celebrations, and exclusions

FORMBY, Eleanor (2023). Exploring LGBT+ people’s experiences of Pride events in the UK: Contrasting safeties, celebrations, and exclusions. Lambda Nordica, 28 (2-3).

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This article draws on research on understandings and experiences of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans ) ‘communities’ in the UK (Formby 2017). It explores experiences of Pride events in the context of, and often in contrast to, LGBT+ people’s ‘everyday’ lives, focussing on two broad areas: how Pride events link to understandings of LGBT ‘community’, and how Pride events can be sites of alienation and exclusion. In the former, I examine two sub-themes concerned with safety and celebration. In the latter, I explore three sub-themes relating to commercialism, identity-based prejudice, and the notion of ‘excess’. Across these, I draw attention to the boundaries of Pride and how these are experiential as well as spatial and temporal. Study participants viewed Pride events as particularly significant, albeit temporary, forms of ‘LGBT space’, thought to facilitate feelings of community belonging, safety, and freedom, which were not always experienced elsewhere. However, Pride events were also subject to varied criticisms, including related to a lack of ‘politics’, the presence of alcohol and other commercial interests, and the potential for some LGBT+ people to be excluded within and from Pride events. Often this was related to their identities, appearance, and/or access to financial and other resources. Concerns were also evident regarding so-called ‘flamboyant’ displays of pride that unsettled some people who did not want to be (seen to be) ‘different’ or ‘extreme’. Nevertheless, for others, there was a clear sense of celebration at Pride events, which was appealing. In discussing these research findings, and the place of Pride events within understandings and experiences of LGBT communities in the UK, I identify some of the tensions and temporalities at play.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.34041/ln.v28.898
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2023 15:13
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2023 10:09
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31529

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