To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Gay paraders celebrating under a rainbow flag
I have a confession to make: I'm old enough to remember when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK. Indeed in some countries it is still not permitted to be out and proud. Therefore the progress made by the LBGT community is something that I've seen progress and advance through the years.
The first UK Gay Pride Rally took place on 1 July 1972 and Pride London was formed in 2004. Since then a political rally has been held annually in Trafalgar Square after the Parade and Oxford and Regent Streets are also closed to traffic in order to allow the paraders to pass through. Those participating in the celebrations include The Friends of Dorothy Society, Queer Youth Network, the Pink Paper and Transport for London. Even the Mayors of London (Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson) have walked part of the route, accompanied by the 100m long rainbow flag.
London Gay Pride 2013 will be spread over six days from 25 – 30 June. The Pride Parade starts at Baker Street on 29 June continuing down Oxford and Regent Streets, along Piccadilly and culminating at Trafalgar Square for the aforementioned rally. On the days before and after the Parade there is a huge choice of additional events: cultural, artistic, sporting and faith, to demonstrate that the LGBT community consists of more than drag queens and muscle men. Above all it's not too late to register and get involved with the Parade through London Community Pride, either by joining in or by volunteering, even if you're straight.
London Pride (Image Courtesy of londoncommunitypride.org)
Last year's participants didn't seem to have their spirits dampened, even if the weather rained on their Parade.