It was a chilly and cloudy start at 11 o’clock at Brighton’s Madeira Drive where the participants of the 2014 Pride parade came together.
There were fewer people than usual, or it least it seemed that way. The weather may have been an influence or the fact you pay to get into the park event, and on top of that pay to go into St.James Street (after 4pm). Without the proper wristband you got nowhere.
The parade consisted of the usual suspects. There where the political parties. Lib Dem taking full credit for marriage equality, The conservatives were marching with pride, Labour never (knowingly) kissed a Tory (maybe they want to update their slogan, or even start kissing Tories) and the Green party were Out and Green.
It is always good to see the police, the fire services, NHS and ambulance services in the parade. Teachers unions and different charities such as for mental health and the Terence Higgins Trust are always present. Then there are the youth groups, switchboards and of course the different clubs, which include the very impressive samba groups, the choirs, judo clubs, people who like the outdoors, religious organisations, rainbow families, the ever so slightly scary Dykes on Bikes and many more.
Pride is also protest and the protests went out the the countries where it is difficult to be LGBT or in most cases downright illegal. Focus was on Russia and Uganda. There were 78 banners showing the names of the 78 countries where it is illegal to be gay and even a sign listing the countries with the severest laws with death penalties and 20+ years imprisonment. Peter Tatchell highlighted the plight of the people in Uganda and the fact that even within the commonwealth there are 42 out of 53 countries where being gay is illegal.
Also, as it was pride, and for England relatively warm, a lot of the pride revellers decided to show of there (sometimes) perfect bodies and drag queens of all sizes and ages.
And then somebody had to come and clean it all up again…