Pride is a celebration of the LGBT+ community for everyone – if you want to support friends, family members and colleagues who identify as LGBT+, feel free to come along. The streets of Soho will be packed with people and general merriment from around midday. Pride in London is completely free, and if you want to keep it cheap, pick up some cans from Tesco Metro on Dean Street and try to find sunbathing space in Soho Square. This year’s theme is Pride Matters and provides a platform for every part of London’s LGBT+ community to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow us to live our lives on a genuinely equal footing. It provides a chance to be visible and to speak loudly to the rest of the world about what has been achieved, and what is still needed.
Groups who have pre-registered join the parade from the start (12noon) at Portland Place but everyone is welcome to join in by entering Portland Place via Park Crescent at 3pm. If you don’t fancy marching, you can watch from behind the barriers as around 80 floats and 40,000 people wend their way to Whitehall. The parade sets off from Portland Place, moving down Oxford Circus, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and then passing Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall. It is recommend that spectators avoid busy locations such as Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus and the parade will fill the whole afternoon until around 5pm.
Marchers in the Parade represent a broad range of queer issues:
- The campaign to make HIV-prevention drug PrEP widely available on the NHS
- Better rights and acceptance for Trans people
- The fact that LGBT+ people in many parts of the world don’t have basic human rights
Just be respectful and try to remember you’re supporting a community that’s still working to overcome prejudice.
Following London Pride on Sunday is UK Black Pride on Sunday 8th July – UK Black Pride is Britain’s community led organisation for African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean heritage LGBT people, their families and supporters. UK Black Pride’s 2018 Festival, “Shades of the Diaspora”, takes place on Sunday 8 July 2018 in London’s Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
What should I bring to Pride in London?
Absolute essentials – anyone attending a Pride event should arm themselves with the following necessities:
- Suncream – buy a decent brand and apply it regularly
- A waterproof coat – I don’t need to explain this one
- Comfortable footwear – you’ll be grateful by the time you get home
- Sunglasses – protect your eyes
- Water – regular hydration is an absolute must this summer
- A cheeky M&S gin-in-a-tin – it is a celebration after all
Pride in London, to say the least, isn’t to be taken lightly and that’s a good thing because it’s a bloomin’ hoot – just be prepared, have fun and play safe kids!