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Singer tops bill at gay pride festival
Telegraph & Argus
8:59am Wednesday 8th October 2008
X Factor favourite Rowetta will be appearing at Bradford’s biggest gay pride festival on Saturday at Bradford University.
Bradford Pride, organised by the Equality Partnership, is the third annual gay pride celebration and will offer live music and comedy performances, an art exhibition and lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) film screenings over the next two weeks.
The pride festival started on Monday with a ‘queer art’ exhibition at Bradford University. The National Media Museum will be screening LGB films tonight and on Monday and Tuesday next week.
On Saturday, the main pride celebration will begin at noon in the Bradford University Communal Building. There will be live performances from entertainers including Kinisha – a Tina Turner tribute act – and chart-topping singer Angela Lewis Brown.
Gay Abandon, Yorkshire’s own gay, lesbian and bisexual choir, will also perform and Rowetta will be making a special appearance during the afternoon. Rowetta, who will perform a 30-minute set alongside Hazell Dean, is a vocal supporter of the gay community.
“I have friends in Baildon and I have performed at the Bulls’ stadium,” she said. “I’m pleased that Bradford’s parade is growing.”
The Equality Partnership hopes the line-up will prove popular.
A spokesman said: “Bradford Pride is a result of lots of hard work by our volunteers and we have worked closely with a local planning group from the Council, the police, community organisers and venues across the city.”
Bradford Pride runs until Sunday, October 19.
"Pride is a Protest" - Bradford MSGI marches at Manchester Pride
Several representatives of University of Bradford's MSGI society marched at Manchester Pride 2008 to proclaim "Pride is a Protest", along with several other groups.
UMSU and MSGI protesters
Riot, Don't Diet
God Loves Fags backpack
Students for Equality Banner
Several members of Bradford MSGI (Minority Sexual and Gender Identities) attended the Manchester Pride parade on Saturday 23rd of August in order to protest the commercialisation of Manchester Pride. Holding signs such as "Riot, Don't Diet", "God Loves Fags", and "Feminist Fightback", they marched with the University of Manchester Student Union's parade entry. UMSU also staged their own protest, chanting slogans such as "We're here, we're queer, we will not live in fear", and "3, 5, 7, 9, human rights are yours and mine". Other organisations were also out on the 23rd to protest the commercialisation of pride, including the Queer Liberation Front and Anarchist Federation, but most notably the Queer Youth Network, who had to defend their right to carry signs saying "Pride, Not Profit" from worried pride officials.
Sarah, Bradford MSGI's Librarian, stated, "It's extremely important for us to stand against the commercialisation of Manchester Pride as MSGI activists. You should not have to pay to be proud of who you are. and I am especially annoyed that the entire Village has been shut off to people unwilling to pay extortionate sums of money to Pride when virtually none of it makes it to charity as they claim anyway. We should remember where our struggle started: Stonewall was a riot, not a brand name." Manchester Pride organisers were unavailable for comment.
Bradford Pride is to be held on the 11th October, 2008. Entry is free.
Article09052008 - Printed Article
Students call for end to blood ban
University of Bradford students have converged on the city's blood donor centre to call for donation not discrimination'.
The students, members of the University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Society, say the current National Blood Service policy, which bans gay and bisexual men from giving blood for life, is archaic and should be reviewed.
Yesterday's protest was part of a campaign by the National Union of Students (NUS), which believes the policy of asking men if they have ever had ++unprotected sex with another man is homophobic.
The campaign, outside the blood donor centre in Rawson Road, saw students encouraging friends, fellow students and passers-by to donate blood in place of the district's gay and bisexual men.
Student Josh Bradley, 19, was one of those protesting. He said: "We had a really successful day and handed out about 150 leaflets.
"We got eight people to give blood for us, seven of whom were first time donors. We have also managed to collect 72 signatures on our petition campaigning for an end to the ban."
Josh said the policy was homophobic because it did not take into account whether sex was protected or how long ago sexual activity took place.
"This gives a somewhat contradictory message about the use of condoms in sexual acts," he said. "If sex is safe and consensual, the argument is it should be considered low risk, no matter the genders of the people involved.
"A man who experimented safely with same-sex relationships 20 years ago would be banned from giving blood, whilst a promiscuous heterosexual man would be free to give blood."
A spokesman for the National Blood Service said it had a duty to ensure a supply of safe blood.
"This includes a clear responsibility to minimise the risk of a blood transfusion transmitting an infection to patients," she said.
"In order to assure the continued safety of the blood supply, we currently ask those in groups shown to have a high risk of carrying blood-borne viruses not to give blood.
"Men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and account for 63 per cent of HIV diagnoses where the infection was likely to have been acquired in the UK.
"The reason for this exclusion rests on specific sexual behaviour rather than sexuality. There is no exclusion of gay men who have never had sex with a man nor of women who have sex with women."
To find out more about who can give blood visit blood.co.uk.
e-mail: claire.lomax @telegraphandargus.co.uk
++This is incorrect and we have asked for a correction!