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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Mark Fletcher, Manchester Pride

Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride in the UK

By IQ on 07 Jul 2021

Mark Fletcher, Manchester Pride

Mark Fletcher, Manchester Pride


The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Will Larnach-Jones, MD and head of bookings, Iceland Airwaves, here.

 


Mark Fletcher
he/him
CEO, Manchester Pride Ltd
Manchester, UK
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fletcher-a1890689/

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
In 2018, I introduced the black and brown stripes to the rainbow element of the visual identity at Manchester Pride, drawing focus to the marginalisation and levels of racism experienced by LGBTQ+ people of colour. This sparked a global conversation that has highlighted the issues and led to the use of Daniel Quasars’ Progress Pride Flag to represent LGBTQ+ communities, recognising and calling out the added layers of discrimination faced by queer people of colour and trans people.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Always strive to be yourself, your whole self, with no apology.

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Over the years, it’s become clear that some agents don’t quite understand the modern Pride movement, how important it is and what it actually means for their artists. My team and I have had to persist despite being shut down and having doors closed in our face.

“I introduced the black and brown stripes to the rainbow flag…this sparked a global conversation”

More recently, seemingly spurred by the desire of artists to support our cause, we’re finding that our persistence has inspired change. Many are beginning to recognise the important social meaning behind a pride celebration and understanding the difference between our events and commercial music festivals. We’ve seen a positive change in more agents and management teams wanting to educate themselves on LGBTQ+ issues in order to better support the pride movement and their artists.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Support queer artists and take steps to recognise the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people today.

A cause you support.
The Keychange movement.

“We’ve seen a positive change in more agents and management teams wanting to educate themselves on LGBTQ+ issues”

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Support queer artists and take steps to recognise the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people today.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Right now, I’d really need a crystal ball to answer this question fully. What I can say is that the world has changed, the industry is fractured and it will take a lot of work to get the industry back to the level that we were used to and famed for within the UK.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I’d like to think that the world was awakened during the pandemic. The industry was not a level playing field. I’d like to see a conscious effort made to encourage greater inclusions across the board and higher levels of respect for differences.

 


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