When I first moved to London back in 1987, the Pride events were quite small and the march used to have quite a campaigning and political aspect to them as gay men and women were lobbying for rights and recognition.
It then progressed into a heavy party event, focused on large tents in parks with thumping music. This went as they lost money and people moved on, as the big party scene has faded..
Fast forward to 2011, in a country where Civil Partnerships have been allowed since 2004 and Pride has taken on a much more upbeat, positive and celebratory tone. The event this year did have some political aspects, but more than even it seems to be a celebration and people out and about – being seen and proud.
The biggest cheers as the massive march shuffled through central London went for the armed forces marching, including the army, navy, air force and the police. There were many cheers and lots of clapping. Equally loud were the cheers for the Muslim float and marchers.
There is little commercial presence, although British Airways had the pop band Blue on their float and many cabin crew marching, and Tesco had the massive rainbow flag.
The crowds packing the streets of central London were very diverse and getting in the mood of the day.
A great and up-beat event. If you are in London next early July, check when the march is on and take a look!
See all my photos of the 2011 event: click here
Or watch a video montage of all of them:
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