The weekend, central London hosted the annual Pride Parade, with the LGBT and the extended community painting the town a rainbow with a colourful and vibrant parade of over 500 different groups celebrating across the iconic backdrop of London.
History of Pride in London
The UK’s most significant and diverse Pride Parade, London has hosted a festival since 1972. The first event was held on the nearest Saturday in July to the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York. This incident caused a movement. Within a few years of Stonewall, there were Gay rights groups and events in the US and the UK.
In 1988, with the update Clause 28 of the Local Government Act, meaning that ’shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ lead to a stronger sense of community and an upsurge in the numbers at Pride.
London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world and holds many different other communities (race, religion, age, gender, disability and sexual orientation). Promoting equality and fighting injustice has been in London’s veins for years, with infamous protests from suffragettes, war, poverty, immigration and human rights.
The first parade started with a mere 2,000 participants, and how far it had come to almost 30,000 people in the show in 2014. Considering that in 1967 was the decriminalisation of homosexuality, this is a substantial number.
What started as a brave act to remember injustice and discrimination, has blossomed into a celebration of community. Some regard the event as being too commercial, losing focus on the adversity faced in these communities and how far the LGBT+ community has come. With free festivals in the lead up to Pride carnival, London has a been awash with colour, perfect to show how diverse our community indeed is.