Hello Marc!Thank you for the article. This is the URL to my story for the Russian News Agency. I was at the launch today and saw you there but I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself.I am glad that you mentioned the troubles in the Eastern Europe in your story. In Moscow alone, there were two clashes during the recent days between the skinheads and radical religious followers from one side, and GLBT community members on the other.Hope the EuroPride will help people (there are many Russians, Poles etc. living in London) to understand it and be more tolerant.Kind regards,Alex
Ex First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West GCB, DSC (Rtd), said this on Radio 4 today when asked about this story:”When I fought in the Falklands, one of my best NCO’s, one of the bravest and most capable, I didn’t realise at the time because it was not allowed in the Navy, but he was gay! He came out when he left after he left the Navy, I have no doubt at all that the fact that someone is gay or not makes no difference at all to how they perform within in the Navy.”It is great that in a week when we celebrate both Veterans Day and Euro Pride that our sailors can be so open and welcome. I’m very proud of our armed forces so wave hard when you see them this week.
Due to the heatwave and health problems, I was uanble to attend Gay Pride /Euro Pride in London this year. So avidly tuned into all the news programmes , a total news blackout , it would seem that if you are Gay and celebrating half a million strong in the capital city you are not worth a mention in spite of the fact that it is one of the foremost dates in the london Calender, of course it has always been so, Notting Hill Carnival is always mentioned as is The Princes Trust Concert but never Gay pride , It would seem we are ovelooked by history and even in these so called enlightened times we are ignored and a conspiracy exists to deny us our place in the news, If all the 500000 who spent so much time and effort and money in preparing for and attending Gay Pride were to take the time out to complain to the BBC, as I have done, then maybe we should get somewhere. It is important for those who live in rural communities, confronting homophobia and intolerance; perhaps with health problems or because of their age who can no longer attend to be able to also commune with the event and draw some solidarity with those who are more able . I am so tired of every year tuning in to the BBC and ITV and being ignored, I can barely recall the number of times Gay Pride has been reported over the 35 years that I have been attending, the only time that springs to mind is the year of the Ripper serial killings , seems blood and gore make news and half a million people partying peacefully and celebrating do not. Notting Hill makes the news annually , why not Gay Pride , come on everyone , you have had a good party now complain and make a noise , let us be seen and be heard, it is high time we acheived recognition for one of Europes greatest street parties this conspiracy of silence must end once and for all. Th Homophobic attitude and cover up by the BBC and ITV should be ended , let the country take pride in its Gay Lesbian Bi-sexual and transgendered citizens.
And incidently , I do get so peeved when I read that it is the “First Time, Gay Pride March hasused Oxford Street and Regent” this is not so, I and friends of mine can clearly remember at least two possibly three or more marches /parades in the early mid seventies when we used these routes, before we were shepherded into side streets out of the way , we may have only numbered several hundred or a thousand in those days , but we regualrly brought the traffic to a standstill in Regent Street and Oxford Street . We also regularly used Hyde Park; it is the London spiritual home of Gay Pride when in 1973 we some 150 of us gathered there for the first gay pride picnic orgainised by The Gay Liberation Front , I really do wish that those who represent and report us would get their gay history and facts right , (Michael Cashman just because you weren’t there, didnt mean it didnt happen) lol
David Wainwright is right about there being earlier gay marches along Oxford Street; and I’ve got a number of photographs to prove it.
It was the first official march.