Great LezBritain do London Pride

"Great LezBritian" is a fortnightly stroll through the very best of British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag for gay UK.

Whilst watching and singing along to Calamity Jane one mighty cold evening a few months ago Lee turned and whispered into Sarah’s ear: “You know I’ve never been to a Gay Pride before.” Sarah turned to her and said, “Don’t be so ridiculous and why have you stopped singing ‘A Woman’s Touch’ when you know this is my favourite bit?”

As we fell to the sofa and chinked our teacups just like Calamity and Katie do after they finish singing about the setbacks of underestimating the abilities of women, it turns out that the tale Lee had told Sarah was indeed true. Lee in all her lesbian years had never experienced the joys of so many queers gathering together to celebrate the differing of their sexuality from society’s straight and narrow contingency.

So we promised each other that this would be the year that we would don some eighties glow-bands, buy some whistles and throw ourselves full throttle into this year’s fun and gays at Pride London — the 40th year anniversary of the creation of the British Gay Liberation Front. And my goodness we certainly did.

We began our day (Saturday, July 3) with a plethora of breakfast delights at First Out — London’s first and best lesbian and gay cafe-bar — which was acting like a warm bosom for many Gay Pride early bird drinkers. To throw ourselves into the spirit of things, we too had some of the champagne and smoked salmon bagels on offer and decorated ourselves with a few more glow bracelets to ensure we were dressed in as much Pride getup as possible without looking like twats.

We then walked through Soho which had a sweet stench of colourful flamboyancy and pre-parade excitement in the air. Several rumours of celebrity sightings were being spun around already and the favourites ruffling many a feather boa were that Alan Carr was drinking nearby, George Michael was to make an impromptu appearance at Trafalgar Square and that Shabby from Big Brother was going to be let out for the day to try and find her hat.

The focus of Pride was the Parade, which set off from Baker Street at 1pm flaunting around 130 floats and walking groups. Its starting pistol was fired by thinking man’s idiot, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who said: “I am pleased to support our city’s Pride celebrations and proud of London’s reputation as a place where you can be yourself” — heart-warming stuff.

We met the parade as it was going past Leicester Square and then inadvertently found ourselves amid a marching scout group. With champagne still circling through the bloodstream we linked arm in arm with a scout master and joined in with their chanting of “Scout and Proud.”

We also witnessed over 100 Christians who declared themselves by wearing “Christian and Proud” t-shirts, The Queer Youth Network who had excellent hair, and a double-decker bus brimming with gay, lesbian and transsexual NHS workers. It’s thought that the parade was cheered on by over 1 million people who came out especially to see it, plus a further few thousand unsuspecting and bewildered London tourists that were just en route to buy ‘I love London’ fridge magnets.

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