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Manchester Pride 2012 launches with Queer’d Science theme in honour of gay WW2 code-breaker Alan Turing

By Owen Williams

This year’s Manchester Pride festival theme ‘Queer’d Science’ will be held in commemoration of gay computer science genius and code-breaking hero Alan Turing.

The parade, on August 25, will celebrate the city’s LGBT community and also honour the centenary of the Enigma code-breaking intellect.

Chief Executive of Manchester Pride, John Stewart, said that Manchester Pride wasn’t just limited to the North West.

He said: “I think Manchester Pride’s reputation goes beyond our community. Everyone knows what it is, where it is and what it’s about.”

“We wanted a local theme for Manchester this year and we chose to commemorate Alan Turing, who is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and also a gay man whose death was ultimately cause by state prosecution,” he continued.

This will be the first Pride with Mr Stewart at its helm after he took over from Jackie Crozier last year.

But, he told MM that this year’s event would not be drastically different from previous years, as he and his team test the water and find glitches to deal with.

“I remember going to pride for the first time and marching in the parade,” said Alex Zane, a patron of Manchester Pride and star of Queer as Folk. “I can honestly say it was the first time I felt like I was part of a community.”

This year’s branding gives a nod to the Diamond Jubilee featuring a crowned corgi and the motto ‘Manchester Pride Rules’.

Pride Fringe events will also be held across the city in the week running up to the four-day big weekend finale.

For the first time there will be a separate launch for the fringe events on July 21.

“I love the Manchester Pride Fringe, it is very close to my heart,” said Pride patron and political singer-songwriter, Claire Mooney.  “I can safely say that through our own creativity we celebrate the best of ourselves.”

The Fringe events will include a premier of Margarita Pracatan’s one-woman-show Stranger in the Night on August 18 and 19.

The Zion Arts Centre in Hulme will play host to The Right to Love: An American Family, a film about the American marriage equality movement on August 23.

Mr Stewart said that it was a huge responsibility to organise what he believes is one of the biggest and best events in Britain.

“The most important thing is that Manchester Pride Rules,” he added. “We’re not letting anyone steal our crown, and if you do the dog will get you!”

Manchester Pride raised £105,000 last year, the proceeds of which were used to support various LGBT groups and HIV charities.

Pride also supports many Manchester-based events including the Bingham Cup 2012, also known as the Gay Rugby World Cup, as well as the Metropolitan Community Church.

This year’s event will run from August 17-27, most fringe events are free.

Tickets for The Big Weekend, held over the August Bank Holiday, go on sale on May 1 and prices are at last year’s price of £20 with early bird weekend tickets at £15 and day tickets £12.50.

The ten-day event closes with the George House Trust HIV Candlelit Vigil in Sackville Gardens on Monday August 17 at 9pm.

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