All the photos from London’s huge #PrideJubilee celebrations
London’s Pride celebrations brought the city to a standstill this weekend. There were 30,000 people marching in the parade – representing 600 different groups and organisations – and it’s estimated that around 1.5 million people were there to watch the parade and enjoy the atmosphere and the parties.
Does Pride still matter?
Whether you’re marching, parading, or just lining the streets to show your support and be part of the day. LGBTQ Pride events are an important opportunity to fly the flag, to be visible, to be present.
It’s easy to be critical of an event like Pride in London. For an event that began as a protest march in 1972, things have evolved, things have changed. The march is now a parade, a celebration. It’s a commercial, corporate affair – everyone’s selling something, everyone’s out to make a a few pounds from LGBTQ Pride.
As in previous years, this year saw a huge number of groups walking in the parade – 600 was the official count for 2019, consisting of 30,000 people. Charities, community, groups, sports clubs, brands, corporations, various branches of the civil service, as well as the police, and the military.
At best, a lot of these organisations that are so proudly represented in London’s Pride parade weren’t there when we really needed them – they stayed silent when their voices could have been really powerful. At worst, these are the organisations who discriminated against us, persecuted us, prosecuted us, imprisoned us.
But, things change. The fact that major corporations, brands, and branches of government now feel that LGBTQ Pride is an event that they can be part of is a demonstration of how far we’ve come since the first London Pride in 1972, or since 1967 when homosexuality was partially decriminalised in the UK.
More importantly, it’s the people marching in this parade that are the most powerful demonstration of the power of visibility. By their very existence in these multinational corporations, these brands, these organisations, they have changed things. The police that are marching in this parade are the LGBTQ people who have joined the police and changed things by their presence. You used to be dishonourably discharged from the military if they found out that you were gay – now they want us to join, with targeted recruitment campaigns encouraging LGBTQ people to enlist.
It’s never a bad idea to celebrate Pride. It’s never a bad idea to celebrate who we are, and how far we’ve come. It’s never a bad idea to let everyone be part of that celebration, to celebrate with us – we don’t discriminate, we know what that feels like, we know the harm that causes.
There’s still battles to be fought for the LGBTQ community. Not just in the UK, but around the world. If you’ve ever got the opportunity to be part of Pride celebrations, make sure you get out there and wave your rainbow flag.
Pride in London embraced the theme of #PrideJubilee to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – remembering the past fifty years of activism, protests and victories that have made the LGBTQ Pride movement what it is today.
The milestones being remembered with #PrideJubilee
28th June 1969 – Queer people of colour lead the the Stonewall Uprising in New York, where members of the LGBT+ community at the Stonewall Inn rise up against continued oppression by the police and society in general
1st July 1972 – The first official UK Gay Pride Rally takes place in London
Early 1980s – London is hit by the AIDS crisis, with thousands diagnosed with HIV over the course of the next decade
9th April 1987 – Princess Diana opens the UK’s first purpose built unit for the treatment of HIV patients, shaking the hands of AIDS patients without gloves
9th October 1987 – Margaret Thatcher delivers anti-gay speech at Conservative Party Conference, widely seen as setting the foundations for Section 28
23rd May 1988 – Lesbian activists storm the 6 O’Clock News to protest the enactment of Section 28
12th January 2000 – The ban is lifted on lesbian, gay and bisexual people openly serving in the British Armed Forces
30th November 2000 – Equal age of consent for homosexual couples is finally passed after being blocked multiple times by the House of Lords
17th July 2013 – Same-sex marriage is passed in England and Wales
2019 – As anti-trans protestors continue to hijack Pride events globally and attacks on trans people treble in ten years, the fight for trans rights continues
Putting #PrideJubilee on billboards
The release of the #PrideJubilee film is accompanied by an outdoor advertising campaign that is appearing on billboards, displays in stations and posters on public transport across London. The still images feature members of the LGBTQ community recreating the key historical moments in the style of classic Royal Portraiture: using the visual language of the most privileged people in history to elevate some of the most marginalised and oppressed.