I’m Going to Manchester Gay Pride!

by kev_bite on flickr

Did you know that Manchester is the most fabulous place to travel with all your friends and family, forever and ever and for always? Well, consider yourself informed because because on the 25th of August Marketing Manchester will send me flying across the fantastic sky with American Airlines, the best airline in the universe, all the way from San Francisco to the United Kingdom for a Manchester Pride Press Trip.

Once ashore, I’ll be staying at the Ramada Manchester Piccadilly, which I believe is the greatest hotel of all time.

But most of all I’m thrilled to be attending the Absolute Bestest Pride celebration in the entire galaxy, Manchester Pride!  I’m so excited I’m in danger of falling off this chair and dying with my head in a bowl of macaroni & cheese! I wore my bike helmet to the laundromat! I haven’t thought about the riots all day! But if I had thought about the riots today, I would’ve thought about how the day after the festival, Festival Director Jackie Crozier said: “Manchester Pride will be going ahead”  because “we have a job to do: we owe it to our ticket buyers, friends, supporters and receivers of our funding to both put on a fantastic festival and raise money for deserving causesI look forward to seeing you all at this year’s Manchester Pride 2011 to celebrate all of the wonderful things about our beautiful city. Manchester is as strong as we are because we are strong together.”

My hyperbolic itinerary is just packed to the brim with things that will probably bring me to a higher level of consciousness. Activities are described using words like enthralling, glamorous, outrageously fabulous, fabulously outrageous, vibrant, lively, incredible and fascinating! That’s like, every feeling in the world.


Here are some of the Manchester Pride Events you’re probably excited about! –

+ Thursday 9:oo PM It’s a Gay Knock Out Competition – Eight teams, composed entirely of members of the World-Famous LGBT Community, will be throwing sausages and rope at each other across a great divide of love and longing. No really sausages (and stilettos?) will be thrown, I expect to be comatose with jet lag at this point so the more sausages the better!

+ Saturday 12:15 PM – Pride Parade!

Saturday 9:oo PM –  Pixie Lott performance – I’ve never heard of her, but her name sounds like “cotton candy” so I bet it’s really good.

Sunday 1:30 PM – Bolton Food & Drink Festival – Who doesn’t like some food and a drink? Vegans, that’s who! No really though, at some point this excursion involves a chef from the cast of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

+ Sunday 9:00 PM: Alexandra Burke and Sugababes will be performing at the Gaydar Main Stage Arena. Rumor has it that it will be the best musical performance since Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live. 

+ Can we get real for a second about how nothing makes me happier than a fucking history museum and/or exhibit? So yes, Out in the Past and Queer to Stay.

Are you going to Manchester Pride or planning to be in that area maybe running errands or getting a suntan? We should hang out! (My schedule is kinda jam-packed but we’ll make it work)

I’ve only been to The UK once before, at which time my itinerary was focused on family friends, The English Countryside, Historical Sites, The Beatles Museum, Castles, and me talking about The Beatles Museum.

So basically this trip will be my first trip to the UK since this:

my brother and i with a knight on my last trip to the UK

Will I be wearing shortalls this time? Stay tuned to find out!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. I vote for shortalls and a sexy tank top. Surely you will have a lot of fun there with girls that have cute accents. :)

  2. Manchester England England
    Across the Atlantic Sea
    And I’m a genius genius
    I believe in God
    And I believe that God
    Believes in Claude
    That’s me

  3. everytime i hear manchester it reminds me of that guy on eurotrip that’s also the soccer coach on she’s the man (i guess he’s good at being angry and british) screaming MANCHESTER UNITED IF YOURE NOT A MANC YOURE A WANK.

    so i wanna go just to hear people screaming with accents.

    • My baby takes the morning train. He works from 9 to 5 and then he takes another home again to find me…
      watching the Manchester United football team! Eh? The best freakin’ team in all the land! Whoo-hoo!

  4. I find this kind of hilarious as I grew up in the Manchester area and lived there ’til my early 20s, yet somehow never made it to pride. I would totally go back and share with you my tattered memories of Canal Street except I am on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

    I still love it there though, it’s a city with a great vibe and has had a rocket up its arse development- and culture-wise since the mid-90s.

    Also, the people in the north of England are obviously the best/friendliest in the whole world, but then I may be biased.

    And not to put a downer on things, but the Ramada is a concrete block, my prevailing memories of it being a scene in Cracker where someone jumps off the roof. I’m sure it’s lovely these days though.

  5. Pixie Lott, The Sugababes and Alexandra Burke. BLESS YOU RIESE. I wish you luck.

    PS: Bring earplugs


    What I mean to say is how long will you be IN THE UK for? Cuz I’m not back to my homeland – the UK. where RIESE WILL BE – til the 29th, but I want to say hello. Come to foggy London town, we have gays and we’ll throw you a party or summat. Also, yeah, people in London say ‘summat’. What’s not to love? NOTHING. come to us.

    • Awww! I leave on the 30th though, and I’ll be in Manchester the whole time so I don’t think a trip to London could happen anyhow. When I become an outrageously fabulous jet-setter in a few years, who knows what could happen

      • However, Blackpool is barely 40 mins on the train :o

        Gay seaside capital of the north? Bank holiday sunday? Major piss up? How could you say no!?

        However, avoid Blackpool sea… it is likely it will give you some kind of sexually (or otherwise) transmitted disease.

        • I second this. I have recently had knee surgery and am convalescing at my parents’ house in Blackpool. I can’t walk, but I would crutch my way into town for Autostraddle!

  7. Manchester, the most over-hyped city in the UK.

    From memory, the Ramada is a nicer hotel on the inside than it is on the outside. Its been about 2 years since I last stayed there though.

    • You watch your mouth! London is easily more hyped and easily rubbisher than Manchester. Also maybe Liverpool and Birmingham but I haven’t been so shh.

  8. I wish I could go to pride, it sounds like it’ll be really good this year but I’ve been invited to a Lord of the Rings themed fancy dress party in birmingham and I don’t know, seems like the opportunity to dress as an ent might never come around again…

  9. You’ll only be a measly 200 miles away from where I live, Google maps tells me that it would only take me a mere 2 days to walk this distance, perhaps I’ll see you there Riese?

  10. agrrr… Jsut had to join the autostraddle community, have been watching from a far ….for seme time (me thinks im a spy??)
    … your coming to manchester… amazing!!!… Pride is set to be a good one, and manchester is indeed lovely, and exciting all at the same time… (its like a victoria sponge at a tea party in a rave, plus us mancunians are a happy bunch…

    womens only club night is on on the sunday too… not to mention Mr Patrick wolf playing on sunday

    have a great time… if I bump into you and act all weird and hyper, im sorry in advance…


  11. eek… you can see the typos in my message above…. thats because im super happy at the thought of an autostraddler (is that a word) is coming to manchester… :o) i tend to loose the ability to type at such exciting times..

  12. Awwww man! I’m going to Reading Festival this weekend, where there are sure to be lots of cute girls but far fewer rainbows and Autostraddlers! D:

  13. Visit Yorkshire! Visit the Dales! Visit Leeds!
    Not meaning to spark controversy (and knowing that Manc is in Greater Manchester and not Lancashire) but Yorkshire is soooo much better than everywhere else in the UK!
    Also go to the edge (Alderley) as that has the greatest views of Manc. And it’s super posh. The footballers live near there.
    Again – Visit Yorkshire!

      • Ah, it’s a pity you don’t get to schedule it – but hey, free trip to Manchester!

        I was going to suggest you go to John Rylands library which is a gorgeous Victorian Gothic building with some pretty awesome ancient manuscripts in its special collection (okay, maybe it’s just me that geeks out over this sorta thing). Google Maps tells me it’s a mere 11 minutes walk from your hotel. But I’m pretty sure that the epic gayness of Manchester Pride will be keeping you busy.

  14. ARG NO!!!
    i’m in london when it’s manchester pride weekend!! I went to london, liverpool and brighton pride this summer, jeez my one chance for an autostraddle meet up!! genuinely gutted :(

  15. “Who doesn’t like some food and a drink? Vegans, that’s who!”

    This made my day, possibly my life. I wanna go, maybe I’ll swing by from Londaaan. Would be brilliant. Also, Ian McKellen ftw.

  16. My surname is Shortall! I didn’t know what shortalls were until just now. I may be heir to a secret shortall making company that I have no idea about.

  17. Yay Manchester! I <3 it.

    Having been a student there *cough* a while ago, I'm heading up for Pride this weekend and to see which of my old haunts are still standing.

    It's my girlfriend's first visit to Mcr, have any Mancs got any must-sees/must-dos where I should take her? I've not been for about ten years and I know it's changed tons since then.

  18. Ooooh, I love that we will be having an autostraddler this side of the ocean! I am actually now really tempted to go to Manchester pride. But I’m not sure I would be able to handle it, and I’m going to Leeds festival the next day (i.e. 4 days of constant drinking and dancing) and then going to a CSS gig the night after (i.e. more drinking and dancing). Have fun though Riese! :)

  19. So I’m going to launch an official campaign to have the Dutch tourism bureau invite you over here for Amsterdam Pride 2012…just sayin’ lol

    Enjoy Manchester :)

  20. Manchester is awesome!! You’re going to love it Riese.

    But I’m very jealous that you’re going to Manchester Pride…its got to be one of the best in the UK (Belfast being another :P ).

    Hope you have a good time!

  21. I’m sure that castle is near where I live, though I suppose there are many similar ones roundabouts…

  22. Im heading to Pride Friday after work…..super excited! Staying until the Monday…..bring it on! See you there :)

  23. Wow, this is cool! I hope the invitations keep pouring in so you can spread the Straddler love worldwide Riese. Have a fabulous time, I’m hella jealous.

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