Unlike all the bodies that have organised Pride festivals in London for the past 25 years, The Pride Trust was a genuine membership organisation. It was easy to join, and everyone who did got a vote on who ran it, and what each year's theme would be.
Oh, and what the event was called…
Notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary General Meeting of The Pride Trust Limit will be held at Unit 25, Eurolink Business Centre, 49 Effra Road, London, SW2 1BZ, England at 7.00 pm Tuesday 9th January 1996 for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, passing the following resolutions which will be proposed as special resolutions :-
- "That the Memorandum of Association of the Company be amended so that the words 'Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgendered Persons' replace the words 'Lesbians and Gay Men' at 3.A. line 5."
- "That in the event that resolution 1 above is passed the Mission Statement of the Company be amended to reflect the changes in the Memorandum of Association."
- "That in the event that resolution 1 above is passed the title of the annual public procession and festival of public entertainment organised by the Company be known as 'The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender March' and 'The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Festival' respectively."
- "That the theme for the annual public procession in 1996 be 'Generations of Activism' and that wherever possible this theme inform the programme of the Festival."
By order of the Board.
6th December 1995
Registered Office :-
As a member, I got – and doubtless other members got – an A5 photocopy of this along with the letter from the board that's below and a proxy vote form. The signature in purple means that this one is obviously not a photocopy, so I believe it is either the A4 original or possibly one of a pair of originals so that they could be reduced by The Pride Trust's photocopier onto a sheets of A4 for someone to cut into two and send out without having to photocopy a photocopy. One original would be filed by Teddy as the Company Secretary and one left spare.
Was the Bisexual Working Group given the historic original or an 'almost as historic' spare? I would certainly have said 'Yes please!!!' if it had been offered to us, and the signature on my A5 copy matches this one perfectly.
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING – 09.01.96
[When, where, and how to vote by proxy]
Turning to the substance of the Notice and taking each of the numbered items in turn :-
1,2 & 3 – ADDITION OF BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER
These three motions are the result of a prolonged period of consultation and outreach undertaken by The pride (sic) Trust over the last six months. Following this, the board has agreed to put forward the motions contained in the notice to add a commitment to bisexuals and transgendered persons. The board feels that it's (sic) first consideration should be whom the event caters for. The Pride audience is broadly all those who oppose homophobia and specifically for those lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people who experience it. The board feels that the title change would merely make explicit what has been implicit ever since the event began and acknowledge the diversity of the people who attend. It is a change which other Prides around world have made for the same reasons.I think London was the fifth Pride to add the B and the T – the biggest of them all, San Francisco, did so in 1995.
I should add, for those whose objection is that it makes the title too long, that the board is here concerned with the official title of the event. Doubtless the title of the event will be shortened to "Pride" in many situations for reasons of space (as I have done here) or discretion.
The board feels that it is time for the change to be made in the UK too and unanimously recommends these three motions to you for approval.
This year we had an embarrassment of riches as far as suggestions for themes and focuses for the event were concerned, partly a result of the success of the Visibly Lesbian focus [of the 1995 event]. The board did not receive any formal written proposals for focuses or themes, but considered a number of the informal suggestions at length. It was an invidious position to be in, as it had the feeling of themes and focuses competing against each other. The board's solution to this dilemma was to construct a theme which it is hoped will bring together the many different strands of activism in a historical context.
Two factors guided us to this proposal. Firstly, the fact that 1996 will be the 25th Pride March and the 25th anniversary of the very first gay march (which was not a 'pride' march as such). The Pride Trust played a role in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), the group who staged the first Pride and revolutionised gay politics into the bargain, at Pride 1995. My colleagues and I felt that the remarkable response the crowd gave the GLF-ers who appeared on the stage meant that a further celebration of gay activism would prove popular. The second factor is our project the March on London, which is designed to 'generate activism' in the widest sense, in all areas of the country for the period before Pride 1996. The two ideas came together in the theme proposal – a celebration of our past and an encouragement to the young people who will be the activists of the future to carry on the campaign. I believe the young and old in our community to be natural allies and that this theme could go a long way to closing the generation gap. The board therefore unanimously recommends the theme 'Generations of Activism' to you for approval.
If you cannot attend the meeting on 9th January but still would like to communicate your views then please write to me at the office. If you are attending, then please note that there will be tea, coffee and bickies provided.
pp Adam Jeanes
All of the proposals passed, quite comfortably.
The result was that Europe's biggest free festivals in 1996 and 1997 were LGBT events…
|↑1||I think London was the fifth Pride to add the B and the T – the biggest of them all, San Francisco, did so in 1995.|