What’s your role and why did you volunteer for Pride in London?
I volunteer as Head of PR for Pride in London and I could not be more proud of this diverse and mission-driven group of volunteers at Pride in London, as this historic festival hits the streets of the capital. All of Pride in London’s 150 volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring this year’s Pride back bigger, louder and prouder than ever. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t had the chance to experience the energy, love and unity that Pride brings to our London LGBT+ community, and there is just so much for us to celebrate this year. It’s on ALL of us to continue the good fight for the rights of LGBT+ people to be equal to the majority in every way.
How important is Pride?
This is the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in the UK, so we are looking back at our community’s history as well as forward to its future as we celebrate again for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
With a multitude of challenges threatening our human rights, creating space to connect over our shared experiences and making our voices heard is particularly critical during Pride month when the LGBT+ community is gathered together in solidarity. Our key focus is on visibility, unity, and equality for LGBT+ people, something we consider to be a fundamental human right – they always have been, and always will be.
What are you most looking forward to about Pride in London?
The energy. Pride creates powerful experiences that unite us in activism, in protest, in celebration and in advocacy. Born from our siblings, the Stonewall Uprising, we strive to be a safe haven and beacon of hope for queer, trans, and BIPOC individuals around the world. Pride is about inclusivity and awareness that Pride in London is more than an annual celebration, it uplifts our community 365 days a year: inspiring and empowering every LGBTQIA+ person to proudly love and live their truth.
When was your first Pride?
Growing up in NYC, you get to be in the heart of so much. I’ll never forget my first Pride – I was 13 strolling around Manhattan with my parents and I saw a group of men dressed up in beautiful ostrich feathers and rainbow boas. My parents explained to me what Pride was and how the LGBT+ community community come together on one special day every year to celebrate love. It was an eye-opening experience and I attended Pride every year since then.
What advice would you give to someone attending Pride for the first time?
Queer or not, you shouldn’t be worried that you don’t fit in at Pride; put that thought out of your head right away! Pride is for everyone, and is a chance for you to celebrate not just your gender and sexuality, but always as yourself – and you’re perfect! With that said, Pride attracts people from all walks of life, including sexualities and gender, so it’s crucial to keep an open-mind and be respectful when meeting new people or seeing new things. Pride is a judgement free-zone, spanning five decades of queer history, and kindness, acceptance, and mutual respect are of the utmost importance.
Sum up Pride in London in three words.
Community. Progress. Love.