As a long, warm summer draws to an end and we move into September, it’s a great chance to look back on the great Pride marches across the UK this year!
Pride events are an explosion of colour, celebration and fun for all involved – young or old.
There’s something for everyone at a Pride march – whether you love parading through the streets in an amazing outfit or dancing to some great tunes at the afterparties.
So, when did this celebration of queer culture begin?
The original pride – and an anniversary!
This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the first ever Pride march in the UK.
Known as the UK Gay Pride Rally, the first march was held on the 1st July 1972. This was as close as possible to the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, where a series of protests for greater rights were held by members of the gay community in Greenwich Village, New York City.
The original UK rally marked the beginning of what we now know as Pride marches, even though earlier events were more politically charged.
Since then, other organisations and movements have joined the Pride marches – such as the Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners (LGSM) who first took part in 1985. This brought together two different but similarly oppressed groups (miners and the LGBTQ+ community) to fight for their rights!
In the 1990s, Pride marches became the carnival-like events we know today.
Through the evolution, acceptance and mainstream celebration of Pride events, we can today chart the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community!
This year, Essex Pride had more people attending than ever before!
It was held in Central Park, Chelmsford on the 25th of June and there was an impressive line-up of performers and musicians!
Everyone turned up, from Essex’s newest generation of students to elderly residents – with Essex Sexual Health Service handing out free condoms for everyone.
The dates of Essex Pride 2023 are yet to be confirmed – but next year’s march is anticipated to be just as good, if not better!
The importance of Pride marches
Pride events and marches are important because they give the LGBTQ+ community a safe opportunity to express themselves and celebrate their history, having overcome adversity to fight for their rights.
It’s a great time to get together with your LGBTQ+ or ally friends and have a fun day out.
Pride marches are a great safe space where you can truly be yourself – without people telling you you’re being too much. It’s an ideal chance to dress up in your brightest, wackiest clothes and even sharpen up your makeup skills – especially when there’s drag queens to outshine!
Many people continue to use Pride marches as a way to demonstrate for a greater acceptance and freedoms. However, it’s equally OK to simply attend to have fun.
Have fun and enjoy!
Whether you go with friends or by yourself, Pride events and marches are a time to enjoy and have fun!
There are a few ways you can ensure you have a good time – for one, bring water. Most Pride events take place in the summer, so it’s important to stay hydrated when you’re out and about, especially in the sun.
There may be people drinking, which you can get involved with if you want – but don’t feel pressured to join in. A sober Pride is an awesome Pride, too!
If you have kids or younger siblings you want to bring along, it’s a good idea to check the event’s website. Most Pride events are family-friendly but it’s best to make sure before heading out.
And remember – there’s no pressure!
The atmosphere at Pride events and marches is open and welcoming.
Pride is a great event for people who haven’t come out yet or simply want to celebrate their identity without being questioned. Nobody needs to know what your sexuality is and many come simply to support their friends.
Just have fun and do what’s right for you!