Deafab, the UK’s biggest deaf gay pride event, has been held in Bristol for the last three years, and is always great fun. It’s got so big in fact, that deaf gay people flew in from all corners of the globe, from Dublin to Corsica to Moscow, from America to Australia to take a look – how amazing is that? I met the Australian in the pub garden at the Sunday Roast that hails the winding down of the weekend, wrapped up warm against the 19 C sunshine and complaining about the cold. Apparently, in the part of Oz that he hails from, average daytime temp is 38 C and he was absolutely freezing. Bless.

Friday evening was the welcome and performance, and we had the nightclub to ourselves until 10 o’clock, not bad going. I was stationed at the door on shagtag duty – by that I mean I was in charge of sticking labels with numbers on people – whilst my good friend was checking passes. Not the most glam job perhaps, but it gave me ample opportunity to greet people I hadn’t seen in ages as they came in the door, even if only for a few seconds. I managed to stick about 50 labels on people, but don’t know if anyone actually hooked up – they were too busy catching up, having a good chat, and of course, drinking. And dancing. Lady Gaga, anyone?

Saturday was the school trip to the zoo, and the weather was mercifully good, a bit sunshiney and blowy as opposed to the storm-like conditions that had been threatened. Sadly, I didn’t go, although I could have borrowed a complimentary wheelchair from the zoo to go around, I wasn’t sure I could make it. I would have given it a go though, I haven’t been to a zoo in ages but my father, with spectacular timing, chose last week to flirt with genuine illness for the first time in years. I haven’t seen him look that wretched since he broke his collarbone and dislocated his shoulder – but that’s another story. Once I was satisfied my parents would survive a few hours without me (sometimes I do genuinely wonder) I went for the post-zoo BBQ, which became cocktails at the Retreat, which became catching up at the Palace in school-theme fancy dress (I think I cut a dashing figure in my prefect jacket and tie 🙂 ), which became boogie-ing at Flamingos. I had a great time, and from the look of it, so did everyone else, I caught up with lots of faces, and unfortunately, lost track of a few in the confusion but so it goes – hopefully there’s always next time! Walking back to the hotel with my chips and curry sauce in dawn light was somehow incredibly satisfying.

Got up a few hours later for the winding down at the Sunday Roast, a popular nosh-up and opportunity to say farewells and hung out til the afternoon. Great food, great company. We should do this every year. Oh wait – we do 🙂 And long may it continue!

The only downside – I’ve caught yet another cold. Not for the first time I wish I had a tougher immune system, but then again I was in close proximity to over 150 people from all over the place with lots of interesting new viruses – perhaps I should be grateful it’s only taken me two days to bounce back. Hmm. And anyway, Deafab may be a plague breeding ground, but it’s a fantastic event, one that I’m proud to be part of, and that I hope I can help more with next year!

Long live Deafab!

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