If Pride last year was a celebration of marriage equality, then this year it was definitely about supporting one another and coming together to celebrate our colourful community. After the tragic events in Orlando there was a sense of duty to come out and celebrate our LGBT+ siblings.
London’s famous Oxford Street was drenched in rainbow flags as the parade made its way through the West End and ultimately ending up at Westminster. In Trafalgar Square the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, gave a passionate speech about celebrating and being proud of the thriving LGBT+ community here in London. He told the audience that he plans to make London a zero tolerance city for homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
Pride in London is often criticised for its lack of diversity, especially in representing the BME members of our community. However, conscious efforts were made to make sure EVERYONE was represented. Groups ranging from gay Muslims to gay Africans to gay East Asians were all included in this year’s parade and though it is a small gesture, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
With the shootings in Orlando still very fresh in many people’s minds and the UK facing a scary and uncertain future in the wake of the Brexit vote, Pride in London is exactly what the Capital needed. It was a chance to just be ourselves, whether that’s gay, lesbian, transgender, genderqueer – whatever. It was an opportunity to show the rest of the world that we are here and we are going to be seen and heard.
The community itself has a lot of problems, there is no denying that. Pride showed us that when we put aside our egos and our misconceptions of one another, together we are strong. It reminded me that we have to look out for one another because, in this cruel world we live in, we are all we’ve got.
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