Pride 2012: Allsorts in Animation

September 7th, 2012 by

This year, the theme for Pride was United Colours of Pride.  The young people from Allsorts decided to take this opportunity to be as bright and colourful as possible and the theme Allsorts in Animation was chosen.  From superheroes and cartoon characters to manga and comic-book icons- we surely had full points for diversity and colour!

 We decided to have SpongeBob Square Pants as our focal point. This decision was based on more than just his unique spongy demeanour and his penchant for square clothing. In 2005, SpongeBob sang a song about diversity and acceptance. Although the song had no mention of sexuality, a Christian Evangelical group called Focus on the Family criticised the song for being pro-gay.

More recently, the Ukrainian National Expert Commission on Protecting Morality moved to ban SpongeBob on the basis that he promotes homosexuality by holding hands with his best friend Patrick, a pink starfish.

Here at Allsorts, we don’t know SpongeBob’s sexual orientation; but we do know that SpongBob shouldn’t be excluded from children’s television for his perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.  And so, Spongebob became our mascot for Pride- symbolising everybody’s right to explore their sexual orientation and gender identity and the freedom to express themselves.

Over sixty people from Allsorts took part in the parade and it was an opportunity for young people from different groups to come together in solidarity. Young people from Transformers, Bi Brighton, Male Matters, Young Peoples Voice and No Dress Code joined together and chanted the famous Mighty Mighty Allsorts song as we walked.

In a session after Pride, the young people fed back that they loved the warm reception from the crowd and the opportunity to celebrate their identities. We appreciated the community tickets which were allocated to the young people for a subsidised price. The young people enjoyed the park and were pleased to see some familiar faces; they were particularly pleased to see the LGBT Liaison team in the park as it gave them a sense of safety.

We were very grateful for our volunteers and trustees who marched in the parade with us, collecting money for the Rainbow Fund, carrying the banner and stewarding the group. Thank you very much to Helen Charles, Sarah Taverner, Iain Gowers, Nick Hayhurst, Jaime Naish, Lily Brown and Chloe Foster for being such a help on the day!