This week we quizzed Mark Fletcher the CEO of Manchester Pride himself! We asked for all the insider information on Manchester Pride and put him under pressure with our quick fire questions.
Name three things you can’t do without at a Pride event
My phone, my sunglasses and my fiancé.
Any top tips for the best ever Manchester Pride Weekend?
- Make sure you watch the parade
- Pace yourself, it’s a long weekend!
- Avoid queues by:
- Buying your tickets for The big Weekend online and having your pledge band delivered to you at home.
- Not bringing a bag (This year we’ll be carrying out bag searches at each entrance to the event)
What do you love most about Manchester pride and what makes it better than other Pride’s around the world?
The Parade is my favourite part of The Manchester Pride Festival, the sentiment it cultivates is overwhelming. Watching the parade can leave anybody with a real sense of pride, no matter what your sexual orientation or gender might be.
The City of Manchester takes a clear political stance whilst also celebrating the diversity of it’s communities. I love the way that the whole City embraces the festival and gets on board to support LGBT+ people. A true sense of welcoming and togetherness from Mancunians and friends is a feeling that I’ve not experienced at any other Pride event.
This elevates the Manchester Pride Festival as one of the world’s leading pride events.
Quick Fire questions… When flying
Window or Aisle seat?
Front or back of the plane?
Chicken or beef?
Music or film?
Long flight or short flight?
Beer or wine?
Kindle or hardback?
Inflight meal or bring your own?
Going on holiday?
What’s your favorite holiday destination?
I’m a bit of an explorer so I like to see new places. That being said, I’d always be happy to spend a week in Ibiza or anywhere on the French Riviera.
Where’s the one place in the world you would recommend all LGBT travellers to visit and why?
Manchester of course. The city has so much to offer to any tourists and is famed for its support of LGBT communities, heritage and culture.
Other than Manchester of course, have you been to any Pride festivals around the world, if so, where and which was your favourite?
Well I’m told Sydney has one of the best Pride celebrations in the world but I’m yet to witness it. In the UK, and other than Manchester’s event, I really like the Pride march in Liverpool.
We fly to the Canaries, Balearics and Turkey mainly, are there any particularly LGBT friendly places to visit in these areas that you would recommend?
I’ve never been to the Canaries but I’m aware that there are many LGBT friendly resorts there.
My personal recommendation would have to be Ibiza. The whole island is LGBT friendly and there’s so much to see and do. The old town is a great place to hang out for dinner and drinks and there are too many stunning beaches to mention.
Many people are put off from going to Ibiza by some of the bad press it has received from the “Ibiza Uncovered” type programmes that have aired.
Any bars or clubs you would recommend for people travelling to destinations like Majorca, Ibiza or anywhere in Spain?
Pacha, Pacha and Pacha for each of those destinations!
Are there particular places you wouldn’t’t recommend LGBT travelers going? If so where and why
Based on the destinations that I’ve travelled to there isn’t anywhere that i wouldn’t recommend.
Are there any particular hotel/excursion websites you would recommend for LGBT travellers?
I tend to shop around depending on the type of trip that I’m planning but tend to stick with the sites that I recognize.
Do you have any advice for young LGBT travellers wanting to visit some of the slightly more risky places like Dubai, Egypt or Jamaica?
Do lots of research on the destination that you’re planning to visit. Be aware of local customs and laws at the destination, be safe and respect them.
Any travel tips for LGBT travellers going abroad as a couple?
Make sure you travel in style on one of Thomas Cook Airlines A330’s and relax!