Reece Owen for GAY TIMES Magazine

Sink the Pink threw its final event last month, bringing an end to 13 years of costumes, club nights and campness.

Founded in 2008 by best friends Amy Zing and Glyn Fussell, it started as a way of countering “too many bland and non-inclusive nights out”.

During its run, there were collaborations with performers such as Little Mix and P!nk and the event took over venues in places like New York, London and Berlin.

It reportedly sold more than 150,000 tickets to its events, which have been home to the likes of MNEK, Jodie Harsh and Bimini.

Sink the Pink’s Manifesto for Misfits, a new book which immortalises its inclusive legacy, uses think pieces, reflective exercises and living testimony to keep the party alive forever.

Written by co-founder Glyn, it features contributions from the likes of Mel C, Lily Allen, Yungblud and Lady Phyll, to name a few.

“I have always felt like the ultimate outsider,” Glyn said of why he chose to write the Manifesto for Misfits.

“I have spent a lifetime trying to fit in, attempting to stick within my limits and be quiet until I realised I just couldn’t do it anymore and exploded. This book is that explosion in full technicolor. It is a love letter from me to anyone who has ever felt invisible.

“Writing this cheerleading book has been a dream come true and I am beyond proud to share my bumpy road of a life to help others navigate theirs.”

GAY TIMES can exclusively share a letter written by Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall for the book, where she explains her experience of being bullied and how she has learned to use the “insults as fuel.”

“When I was young, I never knew where I fit in. I still don’t know now which boxes I tick: I don’t conform to the normal gender ideals of what a woman should be, and I guess being mixed-race, I was never Black enough to be in the Black community, never white enough to be white, never Arab enough to be in that community. Bullies, you saw that. You bullied me badly throughout my childhood and teenage years, and because of that, I’ve always been kind of a nervous wreck. When I was around thirteen years old, I developed an eating disorder. When everything else was out of control, anorexia was a way of feeling like I had something I could control myself. I thought I had escaped the bullies when I left school. I entered this superstar world and thought it would stop, but no Hun! If anything, it’s the opposite – now I’ve got even more scrutiny and judgement, constantly. Our culture almost celebrates bullying – just look at the comments sections. But as I got older, I learned to use your insults as fuel. ‘You don’t think I can do this? I’ll prove you wrong!’ Although I still don’t quite know where I fit in, I’ve learned to not need answers to those questions. The moment I realised I didn’t need a term for who or what I am, I felt more free. Now I’ve learned not to listen to the self-saboteur in my head, the one that loops all of your horrible words in my mind. If I’m feeling a bit shit, I know that the more I tell myself positive things, the more it all goes in. Even better, now I get to stand onstage and see mini-mes in the crowd. It warms my heart when I see happy gay couples, or a trans fan with a sign saying, ‘You’ve helped me’. I get to use my platform to influence others now; I get to be that role model to help fans overcome their bullies. There really is no better feeling than that.”

Sink the Pink’s Manifesto for Misfits is available here.