Off to Manchester tomorrow for our annual field trip (steady the buffers, we’re on our way). Hugely excited to be hearing from Greater Manchester Police and their approach to policing in the Village – and the priorities that they currently face (I understand sex work/prostitution to be a key ‘issue’ at the moment).
The Lesbian and Gay Foundation have also been generous enough (mad enough?) to have us back to their gorgeous HQ at the heart of the Village for a chat about their work. I will as ever be giving the students my socio-legal walkabout around the village (so if you see us, say hello), and my optional more general walkabout on history, culture and sexuality (Hacienda, raves, Marxism, Liberalism, the Suffragettes, Coronation Street). Some of us will also be off to Canal Street on Monday night but I feel far too old and fat for such escapades these day (a theme that Stephen Whittle has written about more generally). Yes, I am essentially a mildly intoxicated tour guide for two days. Fun times.
I ask my students to watch the UK series’ of Queer as Folk before the trip, because the series was so important and it offers so many strands of discussion. A scene towards the end of Queer as Folk 2 encapsulates so much about the Village, but I can’t find any video clips of it to embed (if you can find it, please add a link in a comment). Instead, I offer the quote below which makes up the key scene:
“What, come back to this? The ghetto: alleyways stinking of piss, beggars in every doorway, straights and students coming to look at the freak show, and all the idiots saving all week, saving their stupid money from their stupid idiot jobs so they can come and shoot their load with some stranger. And just you look after it, this stupid little street. It’s the middle of the world. Cos on a street like this, every single night, anyone can meet anyone. And every single night, someone meets someone.”
– Stuart Jones, Queer As Folk 2
UPDATE – located the scene…here you go (1.29 onwards is they key bit)