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I Went To The London Pride Parade And All I Got Were Some Lousy Photos!

July 3, 2011

Pride London celebrated its 40th year yesterday. The parade was started in 1971 by the Gay Liberation Front, a pressure group fighting for equality. Today, it’s become a parade, where gay, lesbian and transgender communities come out in strength to celebrate being their true selves, keeping in mind that there’s still a way to go before true equality is reached.

I’ve been going to Pride parades since 2004, staking out good spots to take photographs of the proud and loud with my little digital compact. I nearly missed out this year because I forgot all about it, but managed to reach Whitehall to catch the tail end of the parade. Two things stood out for me this year, apart from the usual outlandish costumes of course: the number of teenagers who were out and proud, and a group that were supporters of family members who are gay. Within that group was a mother holding the hand of a young man, wearing a T-Shirt saying “proud of my gay son.” That brought a lump to the throat.

What I also notice, every year without fail, is the bemusement of tourists and out-of-towners. There they are, out and about looking forward to shopping in Regent Street, or taking photos of those poor guardsmen on their horses at Whitehall, suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a big fat gay party.

Here are some photos I took with my crappy Pentax Optio. Maybe next year I’ll be taking shots with a bridge or DSLR camera with a decent zoom lens. Here’s hoping.

Airline-float London gay pride 2011

Massive papier mache head London gay pride 2011

Massive heeed!

Inflatable penises London gay pride 2011

Massive heeeds!

Brazil feathers London gay pride 2011

Baroque lady London gay pride 2011

Flower on the pavement London gay pride 2011

Big purple hair London gay pride 2011

S&M guys London gay pride 2011

Just another day in Whitehall

Group led by a man with stuffed foxes on his shoulders  London gay pride 2011

Golden glamour London gay pride 2011

I'm ready for my close up

Two guys London gay pride 2011

Dorothy in a basket London gay pride 2011

You can't park 'ere, mate!

With friends London gay pride 2011

Love is a human right London gay pride 2011

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14 comments

  1. Such a great day out for the whole family, “biological and /or logical”, to quote Anna Madrigal!

    Great shots! Your poor little Pentax is probably crying in the corner . . .


    • Yeah, I worked it pretty hard that day. I don’t think it’s much longer for this world, so I have to sort out a new camera soon(ish). I had a Canon Ixus when I first started taking pics of this event and it was a fabulous little thing until it died three years later. I still miss it. welcome to my blog.


  2. Looks fabulous, great pics!!!


    • Thank you! I do my best with what I have. I like those pics too.


  3. Ah penis shaped balloons – makes you so proud!


    • Light and shade, AlSee. Light and shade…


  4. “What is that character with the big white head?” he asked, knowing that when he received the answer it would disturb him how obvious it was.


    • I have no idea, Oma. It was eerie, cute and funny at the same time, which should disturb you greatly. I just call it massive heeed. Alas, I’m not the creator of that name. A UK radio presenter called Chris Evans used to say it often on the radio and on a TV show called TGI Friday. The show has long since gone, but it gave me that phrase, which has remained with me to this day. Sad but true.


  5. Great photos! I love the GLBT parades! They are so colourful and usually so full of love and positivity!

    Last year they also gave out some great stuff, like candies and condoms. Do they do that as well in London?


    • I think there are certain floats on that route which do exactly that. Certainly the ones promoting safe sex would be handing out information cards and possibly condoms as well. I want to be able to see it from start to finish next year. It’ll be interesting to see who’ll take part and how people will look.


      • Last year’s parade in NYC, and possibly also this year as well but I didn’t get to go, had a huge crew from Delta Airlines wheeling airlines drinks carts in the parade, only instead of “tea, coffee or something from the bar?” it was condoms for everyone! Just one of the many standouts of a fabulous parade! Book now for next year and bring a camera, any old one will do!


        • Pride parade in NYC? That may be one worth going to.


  6. Nice to see some of the stereotypes are alive and well! Although it is a parade, so I guess some people really go for it and dress up. Just one thing though, is that a dog on that man’s shoulder?! That’s unusual…


    • No. It was a pair of stuffed foxes – one on each shoulder! Of all the weird and wonderful stuff I saw that day, I don’t think anything could’ve matched that. it was so totally… well, random. If there was any meaning to the shoulder foxes, I must’ve missed the point, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.



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