London’s world-famous Pride parade is returning this summer after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual celebration of London’s LGBT+ community will return to the capital’s streets on Saturday July 2, marking 50 years since the UK’s first Pride march.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the return of Pride in London. He said: “We have hugely missed having the opportunity to march together for the last two years”.
Khan added: “The march of solidarity and celebration has had a huge impact on our society over the last five decades, and by joining together this summer we will again show the world that London is a beacon of inclusiveness, acceptance and diversity.”
Though there was no official Pride march last year owing to the pandemic, a separate Reclaim Pride event took place that saw thousands of people flock to London’s streets in a bid to return the event to its roots as a protest against discrimination as well as the increasing commercialisation of Pride.
Pride in London, which is funded by the Mayor of London and overseen by a board of voluntary directors, had been the subject of much scrutiny over accusations of racism, bullying and exploitation within the organisation.
Last year, Pride in London’s entire community advisory board along with its most senior Black member of staff resigned over concerns about racism within the organisation.
But ahead of this year’s march, Pride in London has announced it is working in close partnership with UK Black Pride “to jointly celebrate the diversity of the LGBT+ community and the story of Pride, together”.
Christopher Joell-Deshields, Executive Director for Pride in London, said: “We are excited for the return of Pride in London and the opportunity for the LGBT+ community to come together to celebrate our diversity, progress, and individuality.
“The Pride movement continues to evolve. Organisers across the UK and the world share a collective mission to elevate our community’s voice and raise awareness of the inequality and injustices locally, nationally and globally”.
The 50th annual Pride march in July will be preceded by a four-week festival of community-produced events celebrating the diversity of LGBT+ culture.
Applications for the Pride parade on July 2 and festival events are now open on the Pride in London website.