You can tell it’s Manchester Pride this weekend because there are rainbows everywhere.
It has long been adopted as a symbol of solidarity and love with the LGBTQ community – and plenty of Mancs will be wearing their stripes this weekend in unity.
Fancy getting involved? Well, now you can get a rainbow makeover of your own this weekend at Manchester Arndale for just £2.
Stylists from stores including Lush, The Body Shop, Inglot and Supercuts will be on hand offering rainbow-themed makeup, glitter face art, hair styling, glitter beards and more.
All this in return for a small donation to the Manchester Pride charity, which campaigns for LGBT+ equality, celebrates LGBT+ life, and creates opportunities that engage LGBT+ people so that they can thrive.
You’ll find them at the Pride makeover station at Exchange Court (outside Next) from 23rd-26th August between 10am-5pm on Friday and Saturday, and 12-5pm on Sunday and Monday.
And rest assured, every penny donated on your rainbow makeover will go directly to supporting LGBT+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester.
Why is the rainbow symbol so important?
Now synonymous with the LGBTQ cause, the first rainbow flag first appeared in San Francisco in 1978, having been commissioned by gay icon and politician Harvey Milk.
Prior to this, the most commonly used image for the rapidly growing gay rights movement was a pink triangle – a dark, painful symbol that had been used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals.
The original flag had eight colours, each with their own meaning. At the top was hot pink, representing sex, then red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet at the bottom for spirit. Later, the indigo and turquoise was replaced with blue after Baker sold the design to Paramount Flag Company.
Designed by another gay icon, Gilber Baker (an artist, designer, Vietnam veteran and then-drag performer), the first rainbow flag made its first debut at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25th 1978.
It reminds us that LGBTQ people come in all shapes, sizes, races and creeds – and that all are natural and beautiful, just like the rainbow itself.
Fancy showing your support this weekend with your own rainbow? Now you know where to go.
Whether it’s festival gear, glitter or grabbing a bite to eat before the main event, Manchester Arndale has everything you need to get ready for Pride this year. If you’re looking for food and drink over the weekend, don’t forget about Manchester Arndale’s Summer Food Fest campaign. They have exclusive offers on your favourite food and drink until Monday 26th August. There’s everything from burgers to bagels, including tastes from around the world and heaps of sweet treats to keep you going. Get your offers online now.