After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, thousands took to the streets of Brighton and Preston Park to celebrate Pride. The event celebrated its 30th anniversary and attracted nearly 400,000 people, who came to celebrate from near and far.
Just like every other Pride festival, Brighton Pride is a special celebration of love and inclusivity, and a place where anyone can take part in the fun. Whereas Saturday is widely regarded as the more intense party day, Sunday has a more laid-back family-friendly vibe to it.
In 2019, there were over 200,000 same-sex families in the UK – a massive 40% jump compared to previous numbers in 2015, so having a celebration like Pride were LGBTQ+ families can unite is more important than ever.
Sadly, despite the high number of same-sex parents in the UK, statistics from Stonewall UK say that less than half of the LGBTQ+ community feel comfortable enough to open up to family members about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Read more: Fabulous fashion at Brighton Pride
So whilst Saturday saw wild times, Sunday afternoon was a little more tame, as families joined in on the fun and made the most of Pride – looking at it as not just a big party, but also a celebration of being.
Paul Mitchell and his wife are no strangers to Pride. The Littlehampton locals have already been to Pride twice before, but this time, decided to make it a family affair.
Joining them this year are his granddaughter, who they are special guardians to, and his niece and her family.
The Mitchell family has been waiting for this weekend since they originally nabbed tickets in 2020. “We’ve come to see the bands, soak up the atmosphere, people watch and take in the sunshine.”
And although he identifies as straight, Paul stressed the significance of the weekend. “Everybody is different, we’re all the same inside. We’re all humans and I think it’s important to celebrate.”
Judith and Antonio Mencado, are locals and first-timers at Brighton Pride.
The couple brought their kids along to join in on the festivities, and were loving the experience. “We didn’t know what to expect but it’s a great place to bring the kids – it’s very family-friendly.” Antonio said.
For parents Leanne and Layla Wilson, Pride is no new thing.
But this year is even more special than usual, as they brought their two-year-old daughter Alaya to celebrate.
“Obviously lockdown stopped a lot of things, so this is Alaya’s first official Pride,” Layla said. “It’s really important to bring her around it and just see everyone united and together, celebrating love.”
“And it’s great to see so many other same-sex couples with their kids.” Leanne added.
Emma Hardins, a local to Hove, has been celebrating Pride with her two kids, Otis and Indie, for years.
“It’s the heart of Brighton, really. You can’t miss it,” she said. “Yesterday we watched the parade and today we’ve come here for the day.”
Emma expressed her love of the atmosphere at Pride. “For me, it’s such a happy event – everyone is so happy and I love the fact that you can just be who you want to be. It’s really good for the kids to see that as well.”
Watch: Backstage at Brighton Pride on day two