Thursday, 28 August 2008

Mr Gay UK & Manchester Pride

Well . . . Manchester Pride was certainly an eventful time. There was booze, boys and bitchiness galore! But I loved it.

On Friday I checked into the swanky Malmaison Hotel at Piccadilly with my little bum chum Paul. The room was delicious and we wanted to go to sleep there and then, but instead we freshened up, dropped some Lucozade tablets (get us!) and headed for the Village. A girl waits for nothing and can't be held back by such lousy things as exhaustion!

At least, that's what we thought. What did hold us back was practicality. Paul's never been one for practical matters--hence why he forgot both passport and train tickets when we were setting off for the Faroe Islands.

Of course, Paul had no ticket this time either. His friend had bought one and posted it via special delivery to Paul, but Royal Mail being what they are, and Paul being a poof, the ticket would not be received in time. So we had to queue, queue, queue--even though I already had my pass. It would've been rude to leave him queuing on his own, right? Well, that's what he said. I wanted to disagree but apparently there's something called friendship which I fail miserably at but should give a try.

When we finally got the ticket, it was time to make a beeline for The Ritz. We managed to sneak Jason and the other Paul into the VIP lounge upstairs, and there we all chilled and drank till I was called onstage. We spotted various Z-list celebrities and giggled at their attempts to remain cool and aloft by not mingling with the chaff. But since Mr Gay UK is run by the Leeds lot, half of LS1 was there on the balcony with us.

When asked onstage what I was looking for in a Mr Gay UK contestant, I said, 'Desperation, so I can get a shag.' Last year I'd said, 'A tight arse and a big cock,' for which I got a cheer. Terry seemed to enjoy my comments, although I'm sure they were very tacky and very gay.

My introduction ran something like this:

'Everyone knows him but they don't quite know why--it's Adam Lowe, Features Editor from Bent Magazine, and everybody calls him Beyonce.'

Pretty accurate, I must admit.

I met Jane McDonald and her boyfriend backstage, as well as the other hosts. It was a really great atmosphere and there was no pretentiousness. All the contestants were nervous but excited, and they were all just glad to be there. After all, being voted the sexiest person in your city by your mates is a pretty good achievement, whether or not the vagabond judges elect you winner overall. Besides, they got shitloads of sex out of it.

I continued to drink throughout the whole event, and of course my comments were caught on film. When asked what I thought of the boys, I replied:

'I think I might need a spatula because I'm stuck to my chair.'

Later, when asked what I thought of the night as a whole, I pointed out:

'I think you shouldn't buy us free champagne, because I've drunk the whole bottle!' To which Ms McDonald laughed.

The winner was finally announced as the other judges and I handed out champagne to the runners up. Dino from Cardiff won, and boy, was he a hottie!

The afterparty at Cruz 101 was irrelevant because we'd had more fun than we could manage at The Ritz, and by then Jason and the other Paul had vanished.

Saturday morning we all met up again for brunch--which was steak in my case. I love a juicy bit of meat, after all. Medium rare for me.

Then it was on to Pride again. We visited the lifestyle and info tents, did a spot of shopping, and drank our own bodyweight in Cheeky Vimto. An old friend of mine, Jon, plied us with cheap/free booze from behind the bar at Alter Ego all night. It certainly helped.

Mateusz, my Polish lover, arrived to give me a cuddle, but we lost him as the night drew on.

Finally, Rosy, my sister, arrived. We partied hard but decided to leave at 23.40 so we could get back to our beds in Leeds (my hotel room had only been for one night). I was also fed up of the astronomical prices and began howling about 'The dirty, filthy, thieving Mancunian bastards'.

We ran into Paul's ex Aiden on the train and decided to go to QC, where we discussed society's attitudes to 'victims' (and how the labelling of someone as victim perpetuates their suffering, whereas they may not have considered themselves victims before) and how to tell a good story. We regaled Aiden with our own shocking tales, but his paled in comparison. We pointed out a good anecdote should have a punchline.

Then we went home and to bed.

Sunday morning I woke late-ish, but decided to return to the fray. I met up with the Pink Paper crew, who were charming every one, and then slunk off to find my Leeds posse. Sunday was probably the second best night, after Friday. We drunk absinthe and paraded up and down Canal Street in search of a shag. We found a possible in ***, but he wanted drugs and Jason and I couldn't agree on who should get to have him (I'd already had him; Jason had gone longer without sex; I'm naughtier).

I finally got the train home at 03.40, arriving in Leeds for 05.20, and went to bed. Of course, I should have used Monday to recover, but went out again . . .

(c) 2008 Adam Lowe All Rights Reserved

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