To (and from) Manchester with Pride
Story by Ed Salvato; photos courtesy of Manchester Pride (above and below); Ed Salvato bottom.
I recently had the pleasure of discovering Manchester Pride. I'd heard a lot about how fun it was but thought, a Pride is a Pride is a Pride, right? Wrong! This 10-day celebration of the arts, culture and sense of fun of the LGBT community really is one of the best Pride events I've ever attended. It seems to have just the right balance of really fun events, cultural events and even a stirring candlelit vigil to honor those taken away from us by HIV and AIDS.
Here are a few photos so you can get a sense the experience, but the best way to really do that is to plan now to attend. It's held the last week in August to coincide with a national bank holiday. It's especially fun to discover something new about England if you've already visited London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom. And the best part is the Mancs or Mancunians, as the locals are known: They are incredibly hospitable hosts!
Getting there gay
To get to Manchester, I flew direct on American Airlines in business, which really is the only way to travel to Europe or any destination that requires an overnight flight, and discovered that the American's gay and lesbian employee Group, GLEAM, was founded in 1994, thus celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. AA.com/rainbow, their dedicated LGBT-specific website, founded in 2006 and also a first for any major carrier, is still going strong. It's a great place to find exclusive offers for gay and lesbian travelers.
In addition to these, AA boasts a whole slew of LGBT-related firsts, like being the first major airline to implement same-sex domestic partner benefits in 2001. You can read more about it at AA.com/rainbow and book your next gaycation on a demonstrably gay and lesbian friendly airline. Also, it's worth nothing that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Admiral's Club.