There’s nothing quite like Pride. The parade is one of the most colourful, flamboyant and joyful days in the London events calendar and it regularly attracts a big and friendly crowd of revellers.
Although the parade takes top billing, however, Pride in London is actually an annual week long event which celebrates the UK’s LGBT community and equal rights and presents a variety of events taking place all over the city.
The centrepiece is undoubtedly the parade, however, and this year’s event will surely be no different. The parade will begin at the BBC’s Broadcasting House before moving on to Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, then on to Trafalgar Square and finally to Whitehall.
If you thought that was the end of the party, however, you’d be sadly mistaken, as the end of the parade is merely the cue for a plethora of smaller events in bars, clubs and pubs throughout the city. This means that the celebrations last right through the night and into Sunday morning.
As enjoyable as the parade and festival are, however, its important to remember the reason why they exist. Pride is the result of the LGBT+ communities’ decades long struggle for acceptance and equal rights.
The first event took place in 1972. More of a rally than a parade, the event was created in response to the gay communities need to show solidarity in the face of the widespread brutality and hostility that they faced.
Stonewall had just taken place in the United States and there was a feeling that enough was enough. Even though the first event only attracted 2000 people, it was a significant event in that it gave homosexuals a chance to declare pride in who they were.
In the eighties the march was renamed Lesbian and Gay Pride and as the nineties dawned the event took on a more carnival feel. Then in 1996 the Pride Trust voted to rename the event the ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride’.
In 2004 Pride in London was formed and in 2012 the London LGBT+ Community Pride, a community interest company was created to organise the Pride in London festival and parade in 2013.
The organisation was subsequently awarded a five year £500,000 contract to organise Pride in London by the Greater London Authority
The organisation has over 100 regular volunteers who work throughout the year on organising Pride in London.
In 2018 the Pride team marked 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK however the organisation acknowledge that there is still much to do to tackle the duscrimation that LGBT+ people face on a daily basis.M
The 2020 Pride In London Parade has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The event will be back in the summer of 2021.
More information about Pride in London can be found here.