Rather to my annoyance, despite having gone back in 2010 and really enjoyed it and been wanting to go again ever since, I find myself for the third year running unable to make it to this year's London Pride.
However, I was contemplating various other Pride events around the country, and weighing up the pros and cons...
Essex (Chelmsford Central Park), 22nd - 23rd June
Pro: Takes place in my old home town of Chelmsford, so I know the area. Not wanting to take anything for granted, but I might be able to stay overnight with me mam and stepdad. And it's a weekend when I've nothing solid planned.
Con: Chelmsford used to be local for me; it isn't any more.
Sheffield, 6th July
Pro: Lovely part of the world and I have friends up there.
Con: That's the day Sarah and I come back from Swanage, so isn't really practical. Still, listing it here for the sake of completeness.
Christians Together at Pride Service, St Martin in the Fields, 6th July, 5:00pm
Pro: London. And it's the group I marched with back in 2010
Con: Marginally more practical than Sheffield on the same day, but not really possible. Again, just listed here for completeness.
Bournemouth, July 12th - 14th
Pro: I like Bournemouth, and have some friends down there.
Con: I might be going to the Doctor Who proms that day. If we've got tickets for that (I still don't know for definite), Bournemouth would not be do-able.
Brighton, August 3rd
Pro: The local LGCM group will be walking in the parade.
Con: I'm not sure if I know anyone down that neck of the woods these days?
Glasgow, August 10th
Pro: I have friends up there who (at the moment) I've not seen since the end of February, so could tie it in with a trip up to see them (which was the main reason I was even thinking of one so far afield). And I've always wanted to visit Scotland anyway.
Con: It's quite a hike (at the moment I'm thinking of getting a cheap plane flight up there and back, and it'd definitely be for longer than a weekend to make it practical). Also, it clashes with WriterCon UK (to which I'm not necessarily committed, but Sarah is and I enjoyed last year's one and met some great people there) and Nine Worlds, which I'd also been considering going to that weekend. Why is there so much happening that weekend?!
Hertfordshire (Cassiobury Park, Watford), August 31st
Pro: It's very very local. It's possible that some of the folks from the Berry Lane church LGBT group might be interested in going along to this. And it's a weekend I'm not doing anything else.
Con: I honestly can't think of any.
At the moment, I'd say Hertfordshire is, all things considered, the most obvious one to go for, but I'm keeping a very open mind about Brighton and Chelmsford; depending on how the schedule clashes work out, Bournemouth or Glasgow I'm still reasonably openminded about too. If any of those is your local one and you're planning on being there, let me know and tempt me. Also, if you're based elsewhere and are planning to go to one I've not mentioned, let me know the dates and we can think about meety up things. (Caveat: Birmingham's too soon for me, Liverpool clashes with the Brighton one, Milton Keynes isn't happening this year; Manchester looks interesting, though. Don't know what else there is?)