The night before Pride I was working until 3am. Being so busy with work, and with a lot of other things happening through the week, I didn’t get the chance to feel the excitement I felt the previous year before my first Pride
Getting up for 9am to get the train for our 10am meeting time at the centre was hard. Eventually I made it by about 10.20am. Seeing the selection for breakfast after such a rushed morning, I wasn’t sure if it was a bacon roll or a sausage roll that I wanted, so I opted for cereal instead. And then after sitting down to talk to one of the other volunteers, I was greeted by Nuala and Michael. Not knowing what my job in the parade was going to be, they asked if I wanted to be a balloon man. Not knowing what this was, I was hesitant at first, but then I said, ‘Why not?’ I knew all would soon be revealed. I was to have to have Pride coloured balloons attached to my back!
Talking to the other men while walking to the starting point was exciting. Their comments were funny and they made me feel part of the group. With a few hick ups we got there in the end. Closer to gay parade time and enjoying our day!
Waiting at the starting point of the parade was quite intense. Lots of people panicking, but lots of people, including me, just taking it all in, loving the amount of people out and all the work people had put in for this day.
With the parade starting and getting into full swing, this was our time to shine. Seeing all of the people out on this fabulous sunny day in August to support their friends, families, and whoever else, was overwhelming, and I’ve heard it was the biggest crowd Belfast city has had in the history of Pride. From where I was there was no hate or abuse There was nothing but CHEERING and people shouting with pride and happiness.
I was most excited about seeing my family who had come to see me in the parade. Getting to the part of the route where I knew they would be, I looked around for my sister and my brother and his girlfriend. I was thinking, ‘Where are they?’, and then I heard my name being called and I saw them all. This was the icing on the cake! I always knew that my family accepted me being gay but this really made my day. I have to say, my family are the reason I am who I am today. Their support has brought me to where I am in life. They are my inspiration – even though I inspire a lot of people too… LOL!!!
The youth of today bring the future forward. To see how different society is now, it’s brilliant to know there will be change!
BE HAPPY! LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE!
We have four more months of the year left, can’t we put our differences aside and vote equality in marriage and a lot more for Northern Ireland? C’MON GUYS. No more marches. Make it happen and soon!