(British rain does not quite balance out with scantily clad queens in Lycra shorts)
Now, I have just realised that I have never been to a Pride event in my life. Back in my single days in Sheffield the gay scene centred around a couple of seedy clubs in the rough part of town, a particularly common " wine bar" called Dempsey's (with its cheap flooring and and a clientele who carried bargain shop carrier bags) and occasional camp nights at the Art Deco ballroom at the City Hall." Pride" was an event to take part in London and Manchester......cities that glittered a little more brightly than Sheffield once did.
Thankfully that has all changed.
Anyhow as I lay in bed this morning covered in Welsh Terriers, I got to thinking about Gay Pride.
My gay pride ......in fact.
It's a subject I don't really think about really.
Am I really proud to be gay?
Well I guess the answer must now be yes... But it it also needs to be balanced with everything else I think I am proud of. Being gay, is the least interesting part of who I am.
I am proud I am part of a supportive and close family.
I am proud to be a nurse
I am proud that we are a part of a community that we contribute to
I am proud of the village Flower Show,
I am proud of my friends.
I am proud that my bulldog doesn't batter a fat eyelid when faced with Pippa Barnsley's baying hounds in the lane.
At 52 I am now generally more comfortable in my rapidly wrinkling old skin than I ever have been.
I never really think about anyone I meet being homophobic anymore. If they dislike me, I put it down to the fact that I can be an argumentative little shit rather than to the fact I have a rather unsavoury thing for Russell Crowe in his floppy hair phase.
Having said all this, Pride Celebrations are vitally important in reinforcing acceptance and identity and one day, I would like to walk the walk along side and in support of others who have found their " gay journeys" not so smooth or easy as perhaps we have done over the years.
I will leave you with a story from the 1980s, when an old friend and Felicity Kendal look-a-like , Home Counties, mom of two Carol had been just informed by her teenage son that he was gay.
Gay Pride was a rare thing " up north" so in a moment of solidarity she secretly travelled to London in order to walk beside her son at the gay pride march.
In those days the organisation of the march was somewhat haphazard, and Carol ( in her best twin set and pearls) got separated from her son, so ended up falling into conversation with a " group of rather scruffy ladies from Birmingham"
Imagine her surprise when she met her ex husband and mother the next day , who turned up at her hone with copies of the Sunday Telegraph under their arms.
On the front page was a photo of Carol walking alongside a shaved haired lesbian who was brandishing a placard which screamed
" BULLDOG BRUMMIE DYKES ARE HERE TO STAY,"