We invited Andrew’s sisters, Sarah and Alison, to come and stay with us this weekend. We had a packed schedule planned including a Sherlock Holmes themed Escape Room and a meal at Band of Burgers in Brick Lane.
I was also keen for us to head to Trafalgar Square on Saturday for Gay Pride, an event I have sadly managed to miss every year since moving to London in 2013. This particular one was extra special as my friend, Aaron, was performing on the main stage as part of Pride’s Got Talent.
We arrived at Charing Cross at around 12:30 and the crowd was just starting to assemble, with people dressed in a riot of colour and sparkle. This year’s slogan, ‘Love Happens Here’, was written on every available space. Despite a dodgy forecast, the sun was poking through the clouds and the temperature was soaring. We slowly made our way into Trafalgar Square, where security was understandably tight.
We arrived at the main stage just in time to watch the wonderful Aaron, who sang a beautiful original song and really managed to wow the crowd. Between musical performances we got to enjoy some witty (and controversial) one-liners from a variety of compères, the most memorable being “I’m about as maternal as Rose West”.
There have been few times in my life when I have been surrounded by so many marvellously dressed people, and despite my colourful attire I actually felt underdressed. It was lovely to be part of an event where people could express themselves freely, fabulously and without judgement.
One of the most memorable moments during the live performances was the reaction to a video speech by Theresa May, whose recent dealings with the DUP haven’t exactly enamoured her to the LGBTQ community. The boos and hisses were a marked contrast to an otherwise love-filled afternoon.
We decided to catch some of the parade but as soon as we stepped outside the confines of Trafalgar Square, the crowds became a little overwhelming. We attempted to buy some beers from Sainsbury’s but unfortunately all that was left were a few tins of Guinness.
Despite the friendly atmosphere, it became increasingly difficult to see any of the parade and in the end we decided to call it a day and make our way to Regent’s Park. I hope to go to Pride again next year, this time wearing a lot more glitter!