Today we spoke to Drag artist Topsie Redfern, Nathan Kiley
GLL: What does Pride mean to you?
T: Pride is a time to celebrate our wonderful and diverse communities but for me Pride means hope. Even in the UK there are towns that do not have Pride, places where people feel isolated and alone and cannot be out and open. All around the world people still cannot express their gender identity and sexuality – those that can do this safely are sadly in the minority. Pride offers a vision of life where equality is possible, it tells people that they are not alone but are part of a community of people who are the same as them. That they belong.
GLL: Tell us about your first Pride experience, what & where was it?
T: I grew up under Section 28. I did not see people like me around me or on film and TV. I remeber seeing Queer As Folk and being thrilled and shocked that there were others! My first Pride was in Manchester when I was around 19. It was the most overwhelming feeling of not being different but being with my tribe. I honestly felt like a kid in a candy shop – I think I may have even sampled a lollypop or two!
GLL: What is your favourite part of Pride?
T: I’m a performer so that is always the best part for me. The energy and joy of Pride crowds are always exhilarating!!
GLL: Do you have a favourite Pride memory?
T: I think it must be I performing in the family area of London Pride with Drag Queen Storytime UK a couple of years ago. Looking around seeing all sorts of queer and straight family units celebrating difference and diversity was so moving and left me feeling optimistic about the future.
GLL: Why do you think Pride is still important?
T: Until we are not called names or beaten up in the street. Until people don’t face discrimination and abuse in the workplace. Until people are not imprisoned and murdered for who they love – until then Pride is of vital importance.
You can catch Topsie in their new show “Topsie Redfern’s Crystal Balls”. The next London dates are The Two Brewers 28th/29th/30th July 7.30pm. It’s a show that well and truly waves the rainbow flag!!