Last night my city held its 25th annual Pride Parade; the main event of a fortnight-long PrideFest. I’d never actually been to any Pride event before, but this year some friends and I went out to have dinner and watch the parade. It was quite spectacular. I took a lot of blurry snapshots and picked out the best below.
The event started with Dykes on Bikes (they actually had this on a banner) who made a tremendous racket revving their motorcycle engines as they went by. Then there were Bis on Bicycles, showgirls in glittering bikinis and magnificent feather plumes, drumming groups banging and clattering their way down the street, pride floats pulled by cars and trucks, PFLAG members decked out in fairy-lights and even a small Police Pipe Band in kilts! A float went by carrying elderly members of the LGBT+ community dressed in their finest and another carried members of the the local Opera House. Members of the roller-derby team rolled down the street pulling flashy moves. There were hula-hoopers twirling, dancers with glowing batons and lots of drumming groups making as much noise as they could. There were peopled carrying enormous floating blobs that changed colour, cars festooned in helium balloons and people on stilts with sequinned pantaloons. A herd of gigantic inflatable white horses came down the street and later there was an enormous golden Chinese dragon.
I’m sure that hundreds of people were marching on foot. They marched under rainbow flags and transgender flags, they marched under banners of local clubs and groups, they marched with political parties (Labour and Greens, of course). They marched dressed up in tie-dyed clothes, in sequinned vests, rainbow wings, glittery hats, wigs and boots and extravagant costumes. Drag queens marched in full regalia (I have no idea how they managed in those heels), gay men dressed up as nuns (not sure exactly where that tradition got started) and people wore every rainbow, glittery thing they could find. A gigantic rainbow flag came fluttering and billowing down the street, held by smiling, laughing people on every side; a gigantic transgender flag followed. Men and women and everyone in between marched, friends and family marched, people on bikes and roller-blades and people in wheelchairs marched, the elderly marched and children marched. Everyone was smiling and cheering and waiving; some people handed out small flags, others banged drums and blew whistles, honked horns and tinged bells. There was terrific noise and colour and everyone was joyful. It was a really wonderful event.