A new young member and aspiring journalist, MOLLIE BURTON attended Norwich PRIDE and did this interview for North Norfolk Labour Party.
NORWICH PRIDE 2019
MOLLIE BURTON TALKS TO PEOPLE AT NORWICH PRIDE
During my time at Pride in Norwich, I was elated to find an old friend Ethan from my tiny village, ten minutes from Cromer, who had come out as trans and gay last year.
We exchanged hugs and smiles before I invited him to ‘get the experience’ with me and my group of friends.
ETHAN: This is my first Pride,” he says.
MOLLIE: Why haven’t you been before?”
ETHAN: Ha, well, I didn’t have anyone to go with – no one really was around at school openly…gay or there to support me, even teachers, not gonna lie.
MOLLIE: There’s some queer groups in North Norfolk but to be honest I didn’t really actively search for anyone.
ETHAN: Yeah, I just assumed there was no one around who was like me, you know? It feels like there’s no culture or awareness around any minority in Norfolk, let alone in the middle of nowhere. It does feel a bit cut-off and isolated.
MOLLIE: How do you feel included in the community, then?
ETHAN: Mostly on apps – insta groups and facebook, and making friends on there, but they seem all settled and safe in their big cities – like. I make friends with people from different countries, so it seemed like we were the odd one out. But yeah, online, Twitter is the best for the political commentary ‘cause I’ll soon be able to vote. I just don’t really know local issues like the buses and local LGBT clubs, it’s all national news and local politicians don’t really feel relevant. At least not to me.
MOLLIE: How are you finding your first Pride then?
ETHAN; Amazing…really amazing. I feel a bit too emo in all black, but my wardrobe can barely make up the colours of the rainbow. And I really didn’t expect there to be that many people at all.
MOLLIE: Why not?
ETHAN: I don’t know, it just never felt like a big thing. And there’s never been any sort of community for me to fit in with in North Norfolk at all – it’s just fields and animals, that’s all it ever felt like. I feel like getting into Norwich more often would change my perspective – as soon as I got off the bus it felt different in a better way.
MOLLIE: What would you like to see change? In terms of Pride and especially from a youth perspective?
ETHAN: Umm, more support at high school? I didn’t know anything about clubs and societies outside of school, and even inside of school it was Sport or Bible Club, so it would have been better to have a place to discuss local issues and somewhere to talk about my identity. Bit late now, ha.
MOLLIE: What about now in college?
ETHAN: Still as bad. I mean there’s no advertisement or talk about any place to meet queer people – I assumed that’s because there isn’t one. I’d want to see a place or several places around where I could go, even if it means going to Cromer or Holt or Aylsham, a bigger town and a bit further away. It’s just so difficult to get around without a car and not the most supportive family.
MOLLIE: Could you see political parties and the local council getting involved?
ETHAN: I’ve only ever seen politicians like, uhh, that London one – Sadiq Khan really talk about Pride and that was on the news – there’s literally nothing I can think of that local authorities have done. Maybe they have and I just haven’t seen or heard of it. I would like to think that eventually discussion and clubs and meet-ups will be more advertised and accessible, and that people with power can do that.
MOLLIE: Yeah, it feels like we’re reliant on them to get things done, even with issues like global warming, I didn’t know anything about it until the day the student strike happened and the loudest political voice that day was May telling students that they shouldn’t do that.
ETHAN; I don’t know what’s going on which is the root of it all. I suppose I could if I wanted to know, but it’s the effort and then the isolation – like the joke of being the only gay in the village, or the gay cousin, so yeah who knows where it’s going….
We, at North Norfolk Labour Party, would like to thank Ethan very much for this frank and insightful interview.
The Labour Party welcomes people of all ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation.
Photos: Mollie Burton
MOLLIE BURTON also spoke to Sam and Jacqueline from CROMER. They have been together for ten years.
SAM: We’re so proud to be able to bring out daughter here and show her all these other people and children her age with same-sex parents, I think it’s as good for her as it is for celebrating us.
JACQUELINE: And holding hands in public is just a gesture we don’t normally get to do elsewhere.
MOLLIE: Not even in Cromer?
JACQUELINE: No, not-
SAM: Sometimes we’ll just not feel comfortable to do it. But sometimes we do.
JACQUELINE: Where we live, most people know we’re a couple, so we can do more PDA, like a kiss on the cheek, but everywhere else, we haven’t managed to get that confidence up.
(PDA= Public Display of Affection)
North Norfolk Labour Party would like to thank Sam and Jacqueline for talking to MOLLIE BURTON and sharing their experiences with us.
The Labour Party welcomes people from all ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation.
A More Equal Society
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