A book fairy in Brighton was delighted to go to the Pride festivities in Brighton UK on Saturday 3rd August, and has written up his experience here 🙂
The Book Fairies at Brighton Pride, in Richard’s own words
For the first time I decided to do a book-drop during Brighton Gay Pride, and hide ten copies of my book, Ooh yes I Do! The gay & lesbian wedding planner, as it would be great way of celebrating Pride and the fifth anniversary of equal Marriage in England, Scotland, and Wales. I purchased the colourful Book Fairies Pride labels through their website, and I bought the rainbow ribbon and gift wrap paper at the local shops. It was very exciting to spent an afternoon gift-wrapping the books, adding a personal letter, and as a final touch, stick the Pride labels on the green cart gift-tags. Carefully I put the books in my new Book Fairy ‘Pride’ tote-bag, and couldn’t until Saturday 3rd August, Brighton Gay Pride.
The big day came around quite quickly, and I took a bus into town and put the bag with the books on the seat next to me during my journey into town. The week before Pride, I had thought about where I was going to hide the books. The places which sprung to my mind were the Royal Pavilion and Town Hall where couples are getting married, jewellery shops where they sell engagements and wedding rings, and a men’s wear shop selling suits and shirts, and of course a famous bookstore, but my first visit was to the Jubilee Library.
During the 2019 Pride season they were showcasing the work of local, national, and international artists as part of Pride week. Queer Letters was an impressive and intimate exhibition by photographer Heather Glazzard, displaying photographic series of LGBTQ people in which their subjects to reflect on the experience of growing up in the UK. Her portraits, shot exclusively on film, are intimate depictions of the wide spectrum of gender and sexuality which make up the queer community of creatives in collaboration with LGBTQIA stylists and designers. After I’d seen the exhibition in the foyer, I entered the actual library where I approached a librarian who kindly guarded me to the lgbt section. When I explained the reason for my visit, she looked around her, and as by magic, a book-stand display had appeared on the bookshelf, where I proudly placed my first book.
My next place of interest was the Royal Pavilion, a venue popular amongst gay and lesbian couples. I had planned to leave copies of my book at the entrance, but I noticed the security around the building was quite high because of Pride. After negotiating with security guards, a member of staff ushered me inside to the reception desk. I explained the purpose of my visit and asked whether it was ok to leave copies next to the entrance, or perhaps at reception. The gentleman came up with an even better idea, and said he would ask a member of staff to hide two copies of Ooh Yes I Do! inside of the Pavilion. We carried on chatting, and I explained that Michael and I tied the knot in the Pavilion, and it turned out we both know the lovely registrars who married us. I handed him two copies of my book when he generously offered me a complimentary tour of the pavilion. Gratefully I took up his offer, and enjoyed every minute of my unexpected visit before heading back into town to hide the remaining copies of the books in the Lanes.
I had one copy left, which I wanted to hide in the lgbt section of bookstore Waterstones. I walked towards Queens Road where the crowds were wowing the revellers, taking part in the colourful parade. To get to the store, I had to cross the road, and luckily, the float in front of me paused, and I was able to get myself through the crowds, crossed Queens Road, and managed to hide the last copy at the lgbt section of Waterstones. Mission completed!
In the afternoon, I met my husband and our dog, a miniature schnauzer, at Queens Park to have a peek at DIY Pride, an organisation which is disillusioned by pride. They say it has become a de-politicised, de-radicalised, commercialised opportunity for businesses to promote themselves. They had created a lovely free open space in the fields of the park surrounded by trees, for people to join in, and have a chat and a picnic. It was a chilled event, and we can ourselves coming back here next year with a group of friends and spent the afternoon with lgbtq and like-minded people, celebrating pride. The Pride Book Fairy tote-bag, which was included in one of the gorgeous Book Fairy boxes, attracted a lot of attention. The lady’s eyes glistened, sitting next to me, when she spotted the bag. “Oh look! I believe in Book Fairies! And, you know what, I believe in you!”, she said excitingly.
Queens Park definitely stole my heart, and who knows, it may be a future place to do another book-drop!
Thank you to Richard for sharing this book fairy story with us! We love that book fairies around the world are sharing LGBTQA+ stories through “Book Fairies with Pride”, often going to Pride events along the way! Would you like to join in? Grab some Pride book fairy stickers today – free delivery worldwide.