Thousands have gathered for an annual parade to celebrate all things LGBTQ .
Pride in London announced their ‘Never March Alone: Championing Trans Allyship’ campaign earlier this year, saying they wanted to show the ‘joyful’ trans community they had their ‘full support’.
CEO Christopher Joell-Deshields has stressed ‘there is no Pride without the T’ ahead of today’s event.
Metro.co.uk is on the scene in London today, soaking up the colour and hearing more about the work of charities and organisations making a difference to the LGBTQ community.
Lizzie Jordan, 41, CEO and founder of Think 2 Speak, has a stall at Soho Square in London.
She is selling badges and posters with positive messages such as ‘You can do it’, ‘proud’ and ‘hero’.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘We support trans kids and young people across the country and we provide support and counselling.
‘We are based in Lincolnshire but we offer online help to everyone.’
Friends Carys, Hannah, Ellie and James had travelled from Reading to enjoy today’s parade.
The pals said: ‘It is the first big Pride since Covid, so it’ll be very fun. It’ll be nice to have such a diverse mix of people.
‘The way things are becoming, everything feels more divided, particularly over Trans issues, so it’s just nice to show support.’
Rain hasn’t dampened the spirits of those in attendance, who have simply donned rainbow-coloured umbrellas.
More than one million people hit the streets for last year’s 50th anniversary, and large numbers are expected for the 2023 parade with more than 30,000 participants from across 600 organisations.
The afternoon will bring a line-up of exciting entertainment for attendees.
Chart-topper Rita Ora has confirmed she’ll be among those performing, taking to the stage in Trafalgar Square at around 3.30pm.
‘It’s going to be so much fun I can’t wait to come and support the LGBTQ community ❤️ 📍Trafalgar Square @ 3:30pm,’ she said as she confirmed the news in an Instagram post.
But today’s march has been marred by backlash from eco-activists.
Just Stop Oil has threatened to disrupt London’s Pride march if the parade does not stop accepting sponsorship money from ‘high-polluting industries’.
In a statement, LGBT members of the group also called on organisers to ban floats from those organisations in the parade – and condemn new oil, gas and coal.
‘These partnerships embarrass the LGBTQ community at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting ties to these toxic industries,’ they said.
‘Pride was born from protest,’ the statement continued.
‘It speaks to how far we’ve come as a community that high-polluting industries and the banks that fund them now see Pride as a useful vehicle for sanitising their reputations, waving rainbow flags in one hand whilst accelerating social collapse with the other.’
The activists gathered at Parliament Square at 12pm – the same time London’s Pride parade was due to begin at Hyde Park Corner.
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