When I grow up, I want to be fit and healthy and be able to run for miles and miles…
Well, at the start of 2012 I realised that it probably wasn’t going to happen automatically, so I took up running. Only short distances at first, and slowly, but gradually improving, so by April I was running about 5km a couple of times a week. Then one of the Pink Singers, who’s also a member of London Frontrunners, publicised the Pride Run – a 10km run in Victoria Park in September, in aid of the Albert Kennedy Trust. September seemed a long enough time away to make 10km feasible, so I signed up as part of the 20-strong Team Pink Singers.
The Pink Singers support equal marriage and believe that equality before the law is a basic principle in any democratic society. Loving and committed relationships between two people should be recognised in the same way by the state regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of those involved. There is no justification for treating equal members of society differently. As a choir we celebrate the love between our members and their families and in this video we have spoken to three couples about their relationships. Love does not discriminate and nor should the state!
Singing and running actually share a huge amount in common: with both you have to use your diaphragm, control your breathing and, if you’ve seen our choreography, have a certain degree of endurance. Pinkies have the additional advantage of being able to look like we are having fun even when feel like we’re dying inside!
At this year’s Pride Run the Pink Singers fielded a mixed team of runners – mixed because this year included Sue and Esther where last year’s run only had guys, and mixed also because everyone had different abilities. There were those who run regularly, either in the gym on pounding the pavement, and for whom running 10km is only slightly more exhausting than a stroll in the (Victoria) Park. But there were also those for whom the route was a personal challenge which they had set themselves. Add to that the fact that we were running for LGBT Pride while simultaneously raising funds for the Albert Kennedy Trust, and the run took on great significance for all of us. Continue reading →
28 years after forming to add some musical magic to Pride London the Pinkies took to the streets of of the city once more to celebrate on 2 July 2011. No matter how many times we march there is always a palpable air of excitement as we gather before the off. This time we arrived complete with thousands of flyers, hundreds of baloons and a huge canister of helium (thanks Cat and Jenny!), we blew up as many as we could and almost set Sarah aloft as we attached one too many to her wheelchair! Thankfully disaster was avoided by Pinkies tying as many baloons to themselves as possible.
This year we were marching between the London Gay Symphonic Winds (LGSW) and The Food Chain. We moved off to the sound of It’s Raining Men and of course we all sang along, in fact we sang along every time the LGSW played and did our best to fit in some of our own numbers when ever the band stopped, which never seemed for long enough. Note to selves: next year we must remember to request a slot next to a quieter group! Continue reading →
It was warm. The streets were old and welcoming. There was a buzz in the air. We were sitting directly under the magnificent, ancient Acropolis, having dinner at the beginning of our weekend in Athens. The food was amazing. We are the Pink Singers, and we were there to perform in Athens’ 7th Gay Pride Festival.
As it turned out, the weekend couldn’t have gotten much better (or having gone much more smoothly). From the moment we arrived at at the main site for a sound-check on the Saturday afternoon, the organizers were genial, welcoming and inclusive. As we warmed up on stage, the public milled around, smiling and clapping. This was just a sign of things to come. Continue reading →
This year’s Pride march was a special one for London town, because it was the city’s 40th. London’s first march, in 1972, was born of the Stonewall riots in 1969 in New York, when the LGBT community finally said enough is enough and demanded equality. Since then progress has been slow and, overcoming setbacks like Section 28, we are a lot nearer to our goal. Continue reading →
The Pink Singers had the privilege of being invited to Athens to help celebrate lesbian, gay, bi and trans Pride 2011 with them. We were excited to be going, but little did we know just how thrilling 4 and 5 June would turn out to be. The organizers and the people of Athens made us feel especially welcome, and the thunderstorms quickly gave way to sunshine and the sounds of celebration. Here’s a quick video of that amazing weekend. In keeping with the Athens Pride tagline, “Φίλα Με Παντού”! Continue reading →
Ah Greece! Land of Achilles and Patroclus, of Hercules and Abderus, and the backdrop for Shirley Valentine. So pour the ouzo, play the bouzouki and celebrate Pride through the ages with us.
The Pinkies are honoured to be the guests of Athens Gay Pride this year and will be singing in the streets of Athens and on the main Pride stage on the weekend of 3–4 June. A small but ultra–excited contingent will represent the choir in a country we’ve saved till now to visit. Despite the mecca of Mykonos, gay life in Greece can be pretty quiet, so if you fancy an impromptu city trip for a bit of fun and culture, and want to show the Athenians your support, come along! Continue reading →
Historical death fact… ‘Pink’ meaning ‘gay’ has Nazi roots. Human beings sent to the European death camps in the 1930s and 1940s had a symbol on their prison clothes showing the reason they were there. A pink triangle signified ‘homosexual’. It was adopted as a symbol of gay pride in the 1970s. …present death fact In Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and parts of Nigeria and Somalia, male-to-male relationships can end in execution by the state. In Iran, the death sentence applies to female-to-female relationships too. * Continue reading →
Last month we filmed our contribution to the It Gets Better Project. What struck me was the enthusiasm with which the Pinkies supported the making of this video. Within a week of the original YouTube upload by Dan Savage and his husband going viral on Facebook, we knew we had to take part, and a fortnight later, there we were in the break between rehearsals speaking into the camera. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, because we all have our own stories of coming out, but what I did find unexpected was the heartfelt honesty with which the Pink Singers spoke about their own lives. We are all good friends in the choir, yet there are some things which just don’t come up in conversation, because they are perhaps too personal. So it was a privilege indeed to hear what our members wanted to share with those kids who are being bullied for being different, who have no-one to turn to, and who think their own lives are uniquely dark: you are not alone and things do get better.
Have a look at some of the photos taken behind the scenes, and do check out our video, as well as the hundreds of other videos on the It Gets Better Project website. We are the Pink Singers and we’re here to say, “It gets better!”