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posted by Subodh Rathod

Amidst the last week’s news of Birmingham’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Ball raising £25,000 for local HIV/AIDS charities or groups and London Pride attracting a million plus turnout and ‘Proud’ support from Mayor Boris Johnson, Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, Margot James MP (all supported GFEST – Gaywise FESTival – London’s LGBT, Queer cross art festival for all), a story on sentencing of killers of young gay artist James Arthur (23) in Sacramento California stood out.  Full story here.

Pride Rainbow Balloons

In this festive PRIDE season of 2010, there are several reasons to celebrate gay / LGBT equality. There are also enough memories from ‘not-so-distant past’ reminding us to remain alert. A good success story stands on its own and cannot  and should not be defeated by any apparent backlash from homophobic or transphobic people / groups. Finland had a good reputation but a gas and pepper spray attack at the Helsinki Pride festival and perhaps the shooting at Gay Pride in San Francisco reflects a lack of wider social acceptance and equality – where and when it is most required – during gay, LGBT and Queer festivals and celebrations.


Subodh Rathod is Admin &Policy Director at WISE THOUGHTS, arts charity that organises  GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in November across venues in London.

Note: GFEST 2010 call for submission now CLOSED.

GFEST, London’s annual LGBT arts festival in November presents Performances, Visual arts and Short Films. More info on GFEST web:

GFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar

GFEST web networks: