From politics to Manchester Gay Pride Parade Queen
Published: 9th Aug 2011 12:17:11
An independent candidate who stood in the Doncaster mayoral election in 2009 is to become a gay pride parade queen.
Michael Felse will be this year's Parade Queen at the Gay Pride festival in Manchester this month.
Mr Felse said his alter ego Ethol Mary would look "more like a Grimsby docker than Lady Gaga."
Mr Felse also stood as an English Democrat candidate in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in 2009, during the general election.
Mr Felse who was brought-up and lived in Rossington, Doncaster, for a number of years is now living in Manchester working on community projects for the gay, lesbian and bi-sexual community.
He said: "It's considered to be an honour to be the Pride Queen and for some strange reason this year it is going to be me."
Mr Felse has been working as a welfare officer at a swimming club in Manchester called, Northern Wave, encouraging youths to become more confident.
He said he was "dared" to enter the race to become the Parade Queen for Manchester's Gay Pride festival which takes place in August.
Mr Felse's character, Ethol Mary, will lead over a hundred floats through Manchester on Saturday 27 August.
I think it isn't making politics silly, it is saying 'No lets have a bit of fun'”
Mr Felse said his family was unaware of what he was planning: "I've had little time to go back and see my family in Doncaster. They don't know about this.
"I wonder if they'll see this and see Uncle Michael as 'Ethol', but I don't think they'll be surprised."
He denied that it made "politics look silly".
"I don't think I'll be taken as a joke. It's really important that we don't suddenly think that everyone fits in one box, everybody is different but it is how do we engage those choices.
"I think it isn't making politics silly, it is saying 'No lets have a bit of fun'."
As part of his work in the gay community he has arranged for the Sheffield Eagles rugby league team to have a float.
He added: "It really does help the bridges across the country.
"There are a lot of young people who have suffered from homophobia and hate crimes. We have a lot of things to tackle. We have to change the way society works. You have to build trust and respect."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. From politics to Manchester Gay Pride Parade Queen [Online] (Updated 9th Aug 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/176480/From-politics-to-Manchester-Gay-Pride-Parade-Queen [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com