Pride in London: Pride In The Park producer Tom Knight has been to Sydney Mardi Gras, wants to visit India and loves following RuPaul.
Where are you from originally?
Bexhill, a small town between Eastbourne and Hastings in East Sussex. I basically grew up as one of the few gays in the village and the youngest by about 30 years.
And where do you live now?
North London, near Enfield. I have my own little bachelor pad with my cats Mia and Sky. I moved here from Battersea because of the peace and quiet. I’ve been trying to move back more central for three years but I have the most insane view, I’m finding it hard to let go.
What do you love about London?
I’ve lived in London nearly seven years now and to this day I still get goosebumps when I’m having a wander. It’s the architecture, history and the freedom. London is so diverse, it’s easy to be yourself and feel accepted. I always feel lucky to live and work here.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
Charles Street Bar, Brighton. It was also my first ever Pride. I was 16, so about four years ago *cough*. I was like a kid in a candy shop.
Favourite club or bar in London and why?
I don’t really have a favourite as such. Top three for me are the Two Brewers, Ku and Muse.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
The Bodyguard with Beverley Knight. It was so good! I’m not a huge fan of going to the theatre but that definitely made me think about going more. Next on my list are Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I would say locking myself away for the day and geeking out with a boxset or three. I have a busy life so when I get the chance to sit at home and do nothing it’s bliss.
Best gift you’ve ever received?
My friend Paul sent me tickets to go and see him in Sydney two years ago. It came just at the right time. Work and life were crazy and I needed an escape. Plus I got to catch up with one of my best friends and see Australia.
Apart from Pride in London, which is your other favourite Pride, either UK or globally?
I’d have to say Brighton. Before I started with Pride in London I actually managed the main stage there. To be by the sea and then in Preston Park, the atmosphere is so special. Outside of the UK I would say Sydney Mardi Gras. I was there two years ago and it was one of the best events I’ve ever been to.
And which Pride in the world would you love to attend?
New York Pride is next on my list. I’ve always wanted to go but not had the chance. It’s just one of those iconic places and to be there at Pride is a dream. Next year I’ll make it a reality.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
I’ve been lucky to be involved in some amazing projects but Pride in London and Impulse are incredible organisations to be a part of. It’s like a family all fighting for the same goals and the support and friendships have been life changing.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
That would have to be the 1980s. It was truly an iconic time with so much change happening around the world. I’d of been at Studio 54 most nights no doubt.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
That would be Wildfruit at Brighton Pride a few years back. My first big circuit party and it was everything I expected and more. Once the party closed hundreds of us continued on the beach. Hands down one of the best moments of my life.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To not be so sensitive. We live in a world where opinions and shade gets thrown around like confetti. You’re not always going to be liked, that’s ok. Don’t let the opinions of others poison the way you feel about yourself. Some people struggle to like themselves, let alone other people.
Who is your LGBT hero and why?
There are so many I can’t choose one. People like Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Harvey Milk, Mark Ashton, the list goes on. Plus the countless people from our own community who speak out, volunteer and make a difference, they’re the real heroes.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter and why?
Number one is RuPaul, I do love that queen. Calum McSwiggan is hilarious and I love a good celeb stalk.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
India. It’s always been a dream of mine to spend a few months there. It’s so rich in culture and adventure and the wildlife is something I’ve always wanted to explore.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Whatever life throws at you, just go with it. Just make sure you have the right people around you, that way you’re unstoppable. Life moves incredibly fast, enjoy the good while it’s good, and hang on in there when it’s bad.