It's finally summer which means two things in the UK: it's time to whip out the summer dresses and celebrate Pride in London.
Pride Month is celebrated every year in June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, New York (which saw police raid a gay bar called Stonewall Inn) and recognise the impact of the LGBTQ+ community in history and society. Previously celebrated on the last Sunday in June in the US, over the years the celebration has evolved into a month-long series of events across the world, from pride parades and picnics to workshops and concerts.
Every July Pride in London, a not-for-profit organisation which campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights and provides a platform to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ issues, holds an annual Pride parade in central London to celebrate unity and LGBTQ+ indiduals. The first official UK Gay Pride Rally in London took place on July 1, 1972 as this date was the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Earlier this year, Pride in London responded to calls to ban the Metropolitan Police from taking part in the parade. The organisation voted against the ban and released a statement on the decision, which you can read here.
According to Pride in London, otherwise known as Pride, the 2019 parade brought together a staggering 1.5 million spectators and over 590 groups.
The parade fills the streets of central London with colour and energy as it passes through Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and finishes around Trafalgar Square. Pride in London also has multiple stages which feature performances and events throughout the day from both well-known artists and community acts.
Notable acts in 2019 included Broadway star Billy Porter and British singer Becky Hill. Following its cancelation last year due to Covid-19, Pride in London’s theme for this year is based on the values of Visibility, Unity, and Equality.
This year's campaign also calls on the UK Government to enact the Gender Recognition Act Amendment bill, outlaw conversion therapy, and to improve access to advice and medical support for young trans people.
Here's everything you need to know about Pride in London:
When is Pride in London?
While London Pride usually takes place in July this year the celebrations have been pushed back to September 11, 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
Pride also takes place across the UK in several other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, and Brighton. This year, Manchester Pride is taking place from the August 27 - 30 and will host a variety of events such as the Gay Village Party, the Candlelit Vigil and a Human Rights Forum.
The two-day Birmingham Pride festival, which features three stages and an iconic dance arena, has been rescheduled for September 25. Unfortunately the Brighton and Hove Pride has been cancelled this year, but we're sure it'll be back in 2022 better than ever.
Where is London Pride?
The exact route details for London Pride 2021 have not yet been published.
However, the parade usually starts at the top of Regent Street, passes through Oxford Circus and makes its way down to Piccadilly Circus. From there, it moves through Lower Regent Street and Pall Mall until it reaches Trafalgar Square.
Each UK Pride event releases the parade route details on their website.
When did London Pride start?
London’s first official pride event was held in 1972 as a response to the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community which took place after a police raid on a gay club in New York City. The riots were a catalyst for the LGBTQ+ movement across the globe and inspired an entire generation to fight for equality in their home countries.
Which celebrities have attended London Pride?
Many celebrities have been spotted at London Pride over the years. Little Mix singers Jade Thirwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock have been seen joining the celebrations, as well as artist Sam Smith, actor Sir Ian McKellen and London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Even American celebrities such as Renée Zellweger, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid have been spotted at London Pride in recent years.
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