Brighton Pride was an opportunity for us in so many ways. Pink Islands was started with the the intention to bring Mauritian culture to this event as a means of celebration of our lesser known identities. With COVID last year resulting in no Pride I became dedicated to creating a Queer party space in Brighton where we could enjoy our music instead. This year after being accepted to walk on the Brighton Pride parade representing Mauritius and with no funding and a very small team behind the vision I was ever more determined to see the impact that would be made once we had the platform to present ourselves to the (Brighton) world.
I was determined to make a mark. I accepted that most of my personal finances and emotional wellbeing would be going into the project, the night before the day I was lying awake at night thinking, had I bitten off more than I could chew? Was this going to be complete shambles? Had I done enough to create the vision I had wanted - should I have brought more decorations?! Do I have all the latest Sega tracks on my USB?? DID I HAVE ENOUGH MAURITIAN FLAGS?! Would everyone be able to find our meeting spot?! You know, the standard intrusional thoughts that plague a young Queer British-Mauritian girls mind on the eve of bringing her identity from the shadows to the mainstream on Brightons biggest festival of the year. I accepted that all was done as it could be. The next morning bright and early (despite working till 2am the night before) I drove down with our fabulous driver, Justin, to our location in our small caravan style float where we were allocated a spot in-between two large buses. I started to doubt whether we would even be recognised due to being half the height of our neighbours. We started to decorate the float, people that were walking and performing with us slowly started to arrive (some were stressingly late). I was getting calls/texts every 5 mins from volunteers trying to find us, and the artists that couldn’t find parking. I was very worried our dancers and photographers were not going to make it in time as I saw the parade was starting to move. Within 5 minutes before our float beginning to move and almost by miracle everyone had arrived and was in place for the walk. When we began to move the thrill seemed to hit everyone. I was so caught up in my adrenaline to see so many people in pink walking with us and everything coming together that I don’t even remember what I was feeling in that moment. I still haven’t processed it to this day. Safe to say, it was a HUGE SUCCESS. The next day my dad phoned me to say in disbelief after seeing the videos “Never.. IN MY LIFE.. Would I ever have imagined that Mauritian music would be on the Brighton pride parade… NEVER”. It felt like a bloody miracle.