The Prime Minister, David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson have each sent messages of support to those preparing to march through the streets of London for this year’s Pride Parade.
The UK’s biggest Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Pride Parade, Pride London will take place today with an estimated 1 million people throbbing to the carnival beat in celebration of the contribution of LGBT people to society and as part of the campaign for greater rights for LGBT people.
Reflecting the theme for this year’s event – Carnival of Love The Prime Minister said “The Beatles sang that All you need is love. Richard Curtis showed on film how it was all about Love Actually. The best times in our lives are when we feel most loved so it’s a pleasure to support this year’s London Pride.”
Mr Cameron went on to reinforce the importance of Pride London’s important work to tackle homophobia around the world, adding “London Pride is also focusing on ‘Love without Borders’, this is a commendable idea, and the UK has an important leadership role to play. British Embassies in countries such as Poland and Estonia have supported Pride events, at the UN the Foreign Office played a vital role building support for a major statement in support of the human rights of LGBT people.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London gave his backing to the continued success of the event, saying “With just over a year to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games anticipation is building to one of the most thrilling years in London’s history. Over the next twelve months we will be welcoming people from around the world and events like the Pride London celebrations illustrate in magnificent and colourful style that we know how to throw a party”.
“It’s a festival that also underlines our city’s reputation as a place where you can be yourself, something we can be proud of. Pop stars, sports stars, academics, politicians – people at all levels and in all walks of life – including my own team – feel comfortable and confident to be out and to be themselves.”
The event which is in its 39th year will feature a Parade with floats from organisations such as Smirnoff, British Airways and the Gay and Lesbian Underwater Club (GLUG) and walking groups representing organisations as diverse as The Scouting Association, Raiders Softball Club and The London Gay Mens Chorus.
After the Parade the main stage in Trafalgar Square will rock to the sounds of The Original Bucks Fizz, Lloyd Daniels and girl band SoundGirl. Rugby Star Ben Cohen will also address the crowds to highlight the work of his StandUp foundation which aims to eliminate homophobia and bullying.
Elsewhere around the West End those attending can enjoy a dance stage in Soho Square – supported by London super club Fire. Thanks to ‘Out at Tesco’ and new for this year younger Pride Participants are invited to have fun in the Pride Family area located in St Anne’s Churchyard in Wardour Street.
Pride Chair Paul Birrell said “This year’s Pride London event is set to be the biggest and best ever. We will have a fantastic Parade and after that a host of events catering for every taste. I am elated that so many people from both the LGBT and heterosexual community will be joining us to play their part in our fight for equality, freedom and respect for LGBT people here in London, across the UK and around the world”