Thousands transform London into a rainbow for city’s Pride
Thousands of revellers transform London into a rainbow of colour as they celebrate the city’s largest ever Pride parade marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising changed the face of gay rights
- Organisers are predicting that as many as 1.5 million people will turn out for the parade, the UK’s biggest yet
- Some 600 groups, a 25% increase on last year, will march through the capital’s streets for the annual parade
- Celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall uprising which changed the gay rights movement around the world
Huge crowds are expected for what is being hailed as London’s biggest and most diverse Pride parade yet.
Those taking part will celebrate 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York, a moment which changed the face of the gay rights movement around the world.
Parade groups will honour five decades of activism, protests and victories, and those behind this year’s march have said it is an opportunity for people to stand up against bigotry and hatred in all its forms.
Organisers are predicting that as many as 1.5 million people will turn out for the event.
Some 600 groups, a 25% increase on last year, will march through the capital’s streets for the annual burst of colour, music and dance.
A general view of the parade during Pride in London 2019 as flag bearers carry a massive rainbow pride flag down Oxford Street
Barbies on the brain! A reveller wears an extravagant head piece adorned with barbie dolls holding pride flags
A front view of the extravagant costume with a large chunky gold necklace reading ‘Barbie B****’ and glitter on the wearers chest
Concert goers decked in rainbow arm warmers and face paint at the stage in Trafalgar square during Pride in London 2019
Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community pose for a photograph before taking part in the annual Pride Parade in London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks to joyful revellers during the parade at Pride in London 2019 while people snap photos
Parade goers seem to be enjoying the day as they dress as a bunny and dog in colourful costumes with a rainbow flag for Pride
Another parade goer is decked in gold with their entourage during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust of staff members celebrating the NHS rainbow badge scheme developed by Evelina London Children’s Hospital, during the Pride in London Parade in central London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the parade at Pride in London 2019 today as fans try to get a picture with him
London Mayor Sadiq Khan (centre) and Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray (second left) during the parade at Pride
Layton Williams on stage at Trafalgar square during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
A parade goer carries a sign saying ‘my body my rules’ as he wears a chain-mail body suit during Pride in London 2019 today
A flag bearer jumps above a rainbow flag ahead of the Pride in London Parade in central London
One reveller takes a different approach and dresses as royalty with a small ribbon during the Pride in London Parade
A parade goer wears a rainbow Niqab during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
A parade goer ahead of Pride in London 2019, wearing a rainbow jacket, plenty of glitter and a ruffled head band
Tartan twins! Two revellers dress head to toe in tartan with Mohawks in eccentric costumes bound to get them noticed
Celebrating British Pride the tartan clad twins wear union flags on their backs and long pink tartan kilts adorned with badges
‘Votes for Womyn’ reads one sign poking out of the hair of a Marie-Antoinette lookalike wearing a corset and long blond strands of hair
This year’s parade is aiming to champion diversity, with the introduction of a new World Area at Golden Square in Soho, in a bid to increase the visibility of black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) LGBT+ people.
The event also has improved accessibility this year, including viewing platforms for the Trafalgar Square stage, sign language interpreters and captioning for all performances across two large screens, and accessible, gender-neutral toilets.
Organisers announced a day ahead of the parade that they had declared a climate emergency in response to demands made by environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion, and said they aim to make the event carbon neutral by 2020.
A parade goer wears a rainbow hat with a painted face as crowds begin to gather in the city’s centre
A bus bearing the ‘Trans Pride’ flag makes its way along the parade route representing Mermaids UK, a charity who support transgender children, during Pride
A police officer wears rainbow heart face paint ahead of the Pride in London Parade in central London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joins members of the crowd ahead of the Pride in London Parade in central London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the parade at Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
London Mayor Sadiq Khan walks the rainbow road as flag bearers look on during the parade at Pride
London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the parade at Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ahead of the Pride in London Parade in central London
A reveller ahead of the Pride in London Parade in central London
Parade goers carry multicoloured balloons ahead of the parade during Pride in London on July 06, 2019 in London, England
A parade goer holding a Union Jack flag ahead of Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
Actor and singer Lucie Jones on stage at Trafalgar square during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019
Lucie Jones on stage at Trafalgar square during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
London Mayor Sadiq Khan joins parade goers on a float during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
A general view of the West Ham double decker bus ahead of the parade during Pride in London 2019
A general view of a JCB Digger ahead of the parade during Pride in on July 06, 2019 in London, England
Lloyds is one of many corporations joining the celebrations by decorating their bank cash machine ahead of the parade
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the ‘heartbreaking’ pictures of a bloodied lesbian couple attacked on a night bus showed the importance of Pride as he launched the parade.
Melanie Geymonat and her partner Chris were beaten up by a group of young men for refusing to kiss in May, with the incident sparking public outcry.
Mr Khan said the ‘huge, huge progress’ in gay rights should be celebrated, but added ‘we must never be complacent’..
The Mayor also attacked Boris Johnson, saying: ‘You’ve got the next prime minister using homophobic language.
‘When you speak to members of the LGBTQ+ community, they will tell you that some of the homophobia they suffered, the attackers used this language, the same sort of language he’s used.
‘What I want to see from our prime minister, if it is Boris Johnson, it looks like it will be, is him realising that language matters.’
Mr Johnson has been criticised for remarks including calling gay men ‘tank-topped bumboys’ in a 1998 Telegraph column unearthed by the Business Insider website.
Parade goers dress in traditional south Asian dress during Pride in London 2019 as the Muslim community attends the celebrations
He also attacked ‘Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it’ writing in The Spectator in 2000.
Joseph Canestrala, dressed in a blow-up unicorn costume, told PA: ‘I’m from southern Italy and the mentality there is so closed. I came to London five years ago because I want to be free.’
The chef, 28, added: ‘You meet more people. It’s more open, you can find a partner. Every year I come to Pride. I love it.
Parade goers ahead of the parade during Pride in London July 06, 2019 in London, England
Parade goers ahead of the parade during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England
A parade goer blows a large whistle while wearing sequins, long eyelashes and costume jewellery for the celebrations
The parade has been free from plastic glitter since 2017 and other environmentally friendly measures include volunteers being given a refillable bottle on the day.
Alison Camps, co-chairman of Pride in London, said: ‘As we take to the streets of London once again, it’s vital that we remember that Pride is not just one day a year – we must fight for the rights of all members of our community all year round.
‘In this momentous anniversary year, we must all take stock of how far we’ve come, and of the contributions and sacrifices made by trans women of colour to get us to where we are today.
‘Our main aim is to ensure that everyone who comes to Pride in London has a safe space to celebrate, protest or mark the occasion however they wish.
A member of the Muslim community holds a sign reading ‘Love is not Haram’. Haram means forbidden by Islamic law
Ronan Parke on stage during Pride in London 2019 at Trafalgar Square on July 06, 2019
A police woman gets into the spirit during Pride in London 2019 at Piccadilly Circus on July 06, 2019
‘We will not allow Pride to be used as a platform for hate and we encourage everyone to come out and join us today so we can stand together against bigotry and hatred in all its forms.’
Hundreds of officers will police the parade, and Scotland Yard has advised people to stay vigilant while enjoying the day.
Commander Helen Millichap said: ‘We want Pride to be a friendly and safe event for everyone to enjoy.
‘We need the public to help us by taking the usual precautions by remaining vigilant and reporting anything of concern to police officers or stewards at the event.’
Members of the public watch during the Pride in London Parade in central London
‘As with any large event, the Met’s priority is public safety and we are working closely with the organisers in the lead-up to Pride to develop our policing plan’.
The parade will begin at midday from Portland Place and finish on Whitehall.
Regarding the threat at London’s Pride Celebrations the Metropolitan police said: ‘The threat level in the UK remains at severe, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely,’ however, there is no specific intelligence that Pride will be targeted.
‘We ask the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to a police officer or call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321.’
Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has encouraged people to celebrate on the day of London’s 2019 Pride parade.
Mr Hunt tweeted a video of himself discussing same-sex relationships in which he spoke about a friend who had told him he was gay on the day they left school.
‘Happy Pride! Its so important that we make everyone in our country feel safe and able to express themselves,’ Mr Hunt tweeted.
‘No one should feel the fear my friend felt. Let’s celebrate.’
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots
On June 28, 1969 riots sparked after police repeatedly raided the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village, which had become known as a well-known refuge for the gay community.
What is now referred to as the ‘Stonewall Riots’ proved to be a turning point in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, et cetera (LGBTQI+) community’s struggle for civil rights.
Homosexual men and women were often subject to discriminatory treatment at the hands of police in the years leading up to the Stonewall Riots.
The 1969 police raid on New York’s Stonewall Inn (pictured) sparked the LGBT rights movement . Picture credit: Stonewall Uprising
On June 28, six officers stormed the establishment – which was a haven for gay and transgender youth- claiming that the bar had violated liquor licensing laws.
However, many patrons fought back claiming they were being unfairly victimised. They clashed with officers, which set off two nights of violence.
Recalling the Riot for an article in The Gay and Lesbian Review, one patron stated: ‘We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of s**t…. It was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place.
Activists are pictured gathering outside the Stonewall Inn two years after the riots in 1971, in order to push for gay rights
‘Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us.’
The Stonewall Inn suffered severe damage, and thirteen people suffered injuries in the fracas. Four policeman had to be hospitalised.
But the raid and the subsequent riots proved to be a turning point that spurred a wave of activism that has continued for half a century.
In 2015, activists gathered to celebrate at the Stonewall Inn as the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage after a long and painful fight
In 1970, one year after the riots 50 years ago, New York held its first Gay Pride march, kicking off a tradition that would spread to other cities around the world.
The movement remains necessary to this day, as some 70 countries still criminalise homosexuality.
Marches usually take place around the last weekend in June and this year has seen celebrations take place in cities across the world.
Source: Read Full Article