Pride in London takes to the streets to mark 50 years of queer revolt
This year’s Pride in London parade will be the biggest and most diverse yet, with 30,000 people from all parts of the LGBT+ community marching through the capital today to celebrate, protest and stand up for equality.
600 groups - a 25 per cent increase on last year - will be walking the route from Portland Place down to Whitehall, via Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The theme for this year’s Parade is the Pride Jubilee, marking 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising: the moment which sparked the modern Pride movement. Parade groups will be honouring 50 years of activism, protests and victories that have made Pride what it is today.
Pride in London is continuing to champion diversity with the introduction of a new World Area at Golden Square in partnership with Juice, which aims to increase the visibility of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) LGBT+ people. The World Area will feature a range of London’s artists including singer and performer Mzz Kimberley and X-Factor finalist Seann Miley Moore.
The Family Area, Cabaret Stage and Women’s Stage in partnership with DIVA will also return, with The Voice UK semi-finalist Becky Hill and X-Factor finalist Saara Aalto performing on the latter. Grammy and Tony Award winner Billy Porter will wow crowds on the Trafalgar Square stage, in addition to performances from RuPaul’s Drag Race legends Willam, Scarlet Envy and Soju. The Parade area also includes the Community Village, where 30 charities and not-for-profit groups will have stalls.
After being one of two UK Prides awarded Gold status by disability charity Attitude is Everything, Pride in London has made even more improvements to Parade accessibility this year. This includes viewing platforms for the Trafalgar Square stage, improving vantage points for people with limited mobility. British Sign Language interpreters and captioning will accompany all performances across two large screens. Accessible, gender-neutral toilets are present across all five performance areas.
Alison Camps, Co-Chair of Pride in London, said: “As we take to the streets of London once again, it’s vital that we remember that Pride is not just one day a year - we must fight for the rights of all members of our community all year round. In this momentous anniversary year, we must all take stock of how far we’ve come - and of the contributions and sacrifices made by trans women of colour to get us to where we are today.
“Our main aim is to ensure that everyone who comes to Pride in London has a safe space to celebrate, protest or mark the occasion however they wish. We will not allow Pride to be used as a platform for hate - and we encourage everyone to come out and join us today so we can stand together against bigotry and hatred in all its forms.”
The Pride in London Parade is the culmination of the Pride Festival, which saw over 100 events across the capital for all parts of the LGBT+ community, such as Flawless Talent: the first talent competition in London for LGBT+ youth. For those looking to get their hands on t-shirts, flags, facepaint and other accessories for the big day, the Pride in London pop-up shop at 53a Neal Street will be open in the morning for parade-goers to pick up everything they need.