It is with the proudest smile on my face that I announce that I will be headlining the first ever ‘PRIDE IN LEIGH’ event.
As a queer man who has come from a small town (albeit it in Catholic Ireland) I know what its like to live in a place that isn’t particularly accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. I have witnessed blatant and ignorant homophobia first hand far too many times for my brain to remember each of them. I will say that since leaving school the majority of the homophobic people I had to deal with on a daily basis are now fans of my work and embrace me as an artist. The reason for this is education. One of the best ways we can educate people is by showing them who we are and in my opinion PRIDE marches and festivals are the best ways of doing that.
Aside from educating others, pride also gives the young and afraid members of our community the reassurance that it really is okay to be who they are. I’ll be honest, my first pride was back in 2014 and I was tricked into going to it by a close friend who saw that I was struggling with my sexuality but knew me well enough to know that it would help me in my journey of self discovery. It did just that. From that day onwards I have had a much stronger sense of who I am and I have finally gotten to a stage where my internal homophobia has turned into a love for myself and our community.
My beautiful, blue eyed life partner is from Leigh. Having grown up in similar situations, in small towns often filled with many small minded people we both understand each other’s stories fully. It is amazing to me that this year will be Leigh’s first ever Pride event. I am truly honoured and proud to be the headline act on this line up. I will be forever grateful that I will share this moment with the man that I love.