The Metro paper:
The taxis, the tube signs, the buildings and the police lapels - the rainbow is everywhere and nothing makes me happier.
In fact we have now been 4 times and you can read all about them here. 2013 was a particular highlight, the theme was Love and Marriage and we attended dressed as Princesses. Every good fairy-tale ends in a happily ever after and this was our last Pride before getting married on Pride weekend 2014 so it seemed fitting.
This years theme is 'Love Happens Here', this is the what the theme is about:
In 2017 London will host its largest and most vibrant Pride ever.
Marking 50 years since Parliament first voted to legalise homosexuality in the UK, Pride in London will be marching with a message of hope, acceptance, activism and love.
We have come a long way in 50 years, yet we face daily reminders that the global battle for true equality is far from over, and rights hard won can be threatened, attacked and taken away.
As we continue to battle discrimination at home and abroad, London will send a defiant message to those who wish the LGBT+ community harm. We will take a defiant stand against hate, but also importantly, celebrate who we are.
When we stand together we are a powerful and positive symbol of acceptance, support and friendship.
This summer join us to celebrate love in all its forms, and to be part of a movement that symbolises everything rich, colourful, vibrant and courageous in our community.
We will reject hate and we will say, proudly, Love Happens Here.
Laura and I fell in love in London and so I took the opportunity to create our own Love Happens Here pin;
We are also great advocates for companies who openly support LGBT+ staff and Pride is a great showcase for some of those companies. We were proud to see Barclays, our bank of choice, as a leading sponsor, I know some of the clients I work with will be joining the parade and to top things off Tesco will be there again. Tesco have been part of the Pride parade for years, not just in London but across the country. We have seen them in Manchester, Brighton and London but not only are they present but they have a support network (@OutAtTesco). They are clearly true supporters of teh LGBT+ community.
If you want details of the parade on the 8th check here and take our advice - get in early.
Sadly we won't be able to make the parade this year due to other commitments but Tesco kindly sent us our own Bursting With Pride kit. We will be wearing the T-shirt with Pride and toasting the day with the Smirnoff provided.
We will have to wait to Manchester Pride to see our first parade of the year, followed closely by Brighton.
While this post is full of joy, excitement and pride I thought I would take a moment to reflect on why Pride is important to me. It's fair to say that over the years the reasons have changed. When we first attended a Pride equal marriage was still being fought for, around the world equal marriage was still a rarity. We felt we needed to be visible to add our voice to the fight. To protest for our rights. Thankfully that is no longer the case.
But the fight for equal rights is still not over. While there has been a positive shift in mindset towards acceptance there are still places where being gay is not okay. In very recent politics the Conservative party negotiating with the DUP raised the very real issue that our rights are not completely safe. The DUP fundamentally disagrees with equal marriage, could our marriage rights have been lost to keep the Conservatives in power?!
Pride to us is about being visible, in being supportive and being supported. It's about being around people who are just like us. In showing people that's it okay to be just like us.
It's also a celebration. A celebration of love. A celebration on just how far we as a community have come but also how far society has come.