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LGBTQ stars recite iconic works of queer literature for Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley

An all-star cast board Bentley's Pride edition of the ‘Unifying Spur’ in a new video series for Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna.

2021-06-16

Bentley, the luxury car manufacturer, has put its recently-announced ‘Unifying Spur’ – the second in a series of cars produced to mark Pride season after last year’s rainbow convertible – to good use as a mobile recording studio by partnering with Attitude for a series of readings that will debut on Attitude’s YouTube and social channels as part of the upcoming Pride at Home digital festival, in association with Klarna (17-27 June).

Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley, sees comedians Tom Allen and Rosie Jones, co-founder of UK Black Pride Lady Phyll, trans author Juno Dawson and Jamaican Olympic swimmer Michael Gunning choose readings that speak of Pride to them, and the results are personal and often moving, even with the car parked.

Tom Allen, currently presenting Bake Off: The Professionals and his own gameshow, Quizness, both on Channel 4, reads the lyrics to the Noël Coward song 'I Went To A Marvellous Party'.

It speaks to him, he suggests, of a life less ordinary than he experienced growing up in suburban Bromley, and of the kind events a gay man should embrace with gusto.

The lovely Rosie Jones, meanwhile, reads an extract from More Tales Of The City by Armistead Maupin, in which the character Michael writes from 28 Barbary Lane to tell his mother – while reassuring her – that he is gay and happy, and that “being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility, and has shown me the limitless possibilities of living.” No, you’re crying.

Lady Phyll turns to verse for her recital, delivering a powerful poem called Progression, from the book Striving For Equality, Freedom And Justice by Zita Holbourne. In the context of Pride, says Phyll, this speaks to the need to be unapologetically ourselves, progress at all levels and be transformative. It’s as gentle (but resolved) a call to revolution as you’ll ever hear.

The celebrated author of fiction for young adults, Juno Dawson, is no less inspiring, choosing a piece from Orlando by Virginia Woolf.

The trans novelist, screenwriter and actress eruditely suggests that “given the work was first published in 1928, we should shout out to all those who think being transgender or non-binary or gender-nonconforming is somehow newfangled. We have always been here.”

And, finally, for the Jamaican Olympic swimmer Michael Gunning, it’s a passage from Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman that pulls at the heart strings.

“That coming out moment is so important to all of us,” explains Michael, “and the support of those you love means everything. So this exchange between a father and a son means the world to those of us who had fears allayed.”

Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley, is part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, that runs from 17-27 June at attitude.co.uk, youtube.com/attitudemag and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@attitudemag).

Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes – this year supporting ten amazing organisations including AKT, Black Trans Foundation, Curly’s Legacy, Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Food Chain, Kaleidoscope Trust, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mermaids, Stonewall UK and Switchboard LGBT.

Each will receive at least £1000 courtesy of our sponsors Klarna, Bentley, Clifford Chance, Slingsby, Swatch and Taimi and individual supporters.

To donate £5 please text ATHOME5 to 70480 or see our Virgin Money Giving link here. Visit attitudemagazinefoundation.com for more details.