Matt Poynton: Pride to Me

For the last few weeks Flipside Radio has been celebrating #5YearsofChesterPride and I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to host a series of programmes dedicated to Chester Pride.

From an in-depth LGBT history lesson, to sharing a studio with one of Chester’s favourite drag queens, I have been able to see first-hand what Chester Pride has to offer, but more importantly I have been able to get a more personal idea of what PRIDE actually means.

As an active member of the Chester Pride Committee for several years I have been able to appreciate what the team do and what effect pride has on our city in general. However it wasn’t until I started planning my series of Pride programmes that I began to understand what pride means to me on a personal level.

Growing up in Chester I was unaware what “being gay” actually meant, obviously I knew I was attracted to guys and felt/acted a little bit different to other boys (I had the choreography to Britney Spears’s Hit Me Baby One More Time down to a T by age 10). It wasn’t till I was in my mid-teens that I was aware what I was feeling had a name, and up to that point I felt like a freak and thought that I was the only person in the world that was “Different.” 13-14 year old me would never have imagined being sat in a radio studio next to a drag queen (PVC and all), but also call that drag queen a friend (shout out to Deloris Dainty). Luckily I eventually was able to find myself and was accepted by the people I love for being me!

One of the most important things I feel Chester Pride has done (they have done lots by the way) is teaming together with The Proud Trust and bringing an LGBT youth group to Chester. This is something I truly believe would of helped lil’ me come to terms a lot earlier (and safer) with who I am.

Pride isn’t about a giant party (that’s just a bonus), Pride to me means acceptance in general, not just of other people but to yourself (this next bit is a bit cringe), as the great RuPaul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” Amen to that!

So if you’re willing to accept you for you then I highly recommend you come and celebrate that fact at Chester Pride on the 19th of August at Castle Square.   

You can find out more about Chester Pride and see what exciting things are happening this weekend on their website here.

Follow Chester Pride on Twitter.

Matt Poynton

You can join Matt Poynton live on Flipside Radio every Thursday from 6pm.

Follow Matt on Twitter here.