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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Pride in London 2022: huge turnout expected at first march since pandemic – live updates | Pride

This from my colleague Amy Walker who has joined the parade:

At Marble Arch at lunchtime, crowds of people adorned in flags – both Pride and trans – cheered as parade floats got ready to embark, while dance music pumped out from on-board speakers.

Though many of those with the most elaborate outfits (sky high platformed heels and strappy crop tops included) were from the younger ranks of the community, plenty of veterans were also in attendance.

Winston Woodfine, 59, dressed down in a Nike cap, Ralph Lauren tracksuit and trainers, said that , despite the wait, this year would be a more “subdued” affair for him.

“I used to get dressed up with friends, but some of them are no longer with us and some of them have moved away,” he said.

But he added that he felt the event itself was no less significant.

“With any anniversary, it’s nice to thank [the campaigners] for what they’ve done, while acknowledging there’s still a long way to go.”

“We think of Pride as this big coming together but there also might be people who are lonely, or just coming out, and this is a place they can meet people or find out about support.”

Asked about the absence of uniformed Met police officers marching in the parade, Woodfine described it as a “shame”.

“It’s important to be inclusive. We need them and they need us,” he said.

“We don’t want any division, and god forbid anything happens [at Pride] and we need to call on them.”

What is the march route?

Today’s parade will follow in the footsteps of the original 1972 Pride march. At midday, it kicked off from the first podium at Hyde Park Corner, and is now making its way along the edge of Green Park.

Marchers will then reach the second podium at Piccadilly Circus, where they will turn right and head towards Charing Cross to the third podium at the top of Orange Street.

The parade will travel past the Mall and end at Whitehall at about 6pm.

You can check the parade route map on Pride in London’s website.

Good afternoon, everyone. You’ve got me, Sophie Zeldin-O’Neill, here providing updates throughout the afternoon.

A bit of background on today’s march: Pride in London is back for the first time since 2019, with more than a million people expected to join the march. The major event marks 50 years since the capital’s first Pride march in 1972, and will feature performances across four stages around central London.

Singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, 2018 Eurovision winner Netta, and pop and soul singer Samantha Mumba will take to the stages.

The parade will close with a “show-stopping” performance by pop superstar Ava Max at Trafalgar Square.

More than 1m people expected to join London’s 50th anniversary Pride celebrations

Over a million people are expected to descend on the streets of London today for the capital’s first Pride celebrations since the pandemic.

Today’s event, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride parade, kicks off at midday at Hyde Park Corner.

Organisers, who have billed the event as the “biggest and most inclusive event in history”, said over 30,000 people have registered to march in the 2022 Pride Parade and over 400 community groups.

It will be led by the Gay Liberation Front, who marched in the first protest in 1972.

Follow the blog for updates throughout the afternoon.

Md Nabir Uddim and Mohammed Nazir, from London, ahead of today’s Pride in London parade.
Md Nabir Uddim and Mohammed Nazir, from London, ahead of today’s Pride in London parade. Photograph: James Manning/PA

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