Pride in London attracts record-breaking 30,000, despite heavy rain
The Pride in London parade which took place on Saturday attracted a record number of revellers, as despite heavy rain, at least 30,000 people took part in the parade, and many more attended pride events.
The event was marked with the first ever UK performance by Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, and the parade itself was attended by veteran actor and gay rights campaigner Sir Ian McKellen.
Speaking to PinkNews at the event, Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone said: “Oh my goodness, it’s just the best thing in the world. The pride march is always amazing, even though it’s a bit rainy, but what it symbolises this time is that there will be married gay couples walking with pride, and I just love it – it’s a real move forward.”
She was joined by Lib Dem peer Baroness Barker, who added: “A year on from same-sex marriage, we are absolutely delighted to be still here, working as we always do for equality.”
Labour peer Lord Collins also told PinkNews: “It’s fantastic to be out and proud, and to be with my husband-to-be, we are going to get married in December. It’s fantastic, and I think the Labour Party has done a tremendous job.”
On the fact that for the first time married same-sex couples were attending the parade, he said: “It’s extra special, undoubtedly, but I never forget the journey that we’ve travelled.”
Introducing Conchita Wurst, Sir Ian said: “Show business has always led the way when it comes to the freedom to be yourself. So Conchita is following in the footsteps of our predecessors. There is a long tradition of outrageousness and confidence that performers embody, and that has an enormous impact. It clears the way for others to dare to be themselves. She has done just that.”
Speaking from the stage, Conchita Wurst said: “Let us be proud about who we are and let us give a statement for love, respect and tolerance.”
Speaking earlier today, Michael Salter, Chair of Pride in London said: “I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who, together with everyone in the Parade, all those lining the route or celebrating in Trafalgar Square, Golden Square and Soho, gave our great city the fun, exciting, surprising and inspiring Pride it truly deserves. We at Pride in London want to go on delivering events of, by and for the entire LGBT+ community. This year again we saw how powerful that can be.”