The parade finished at Trafalgar Square with two stages of entertainment, but we were pretty underwhelmed by the music offerings. The only acts we were familiar with were the cheesier-than-brie sister and brother duo from X Factor, Same Difference, and 90’s pop-star Sonique. Neither act particularly floated our boat — in fact the prospect of seeing them actually sank it a little.
Needless to say, we avoided the stages and narrowed down our choice of alternative entertainment to the following three: Village Underground’s Big Gay Bash with East London’s finest trans folks in Shoreditch, Perez Hilton’s One Night in London at the O2 (with Peaches and Kelis) or the CODE vs Girl Action Party in Soho.
One of the most pleasurable parts of Pride London’s celebrations is the Soho street party. The gay quarter shone like a prism — hundreds of rainbows glistened in the sunshine so we opted to go for a few shots and stay there for the night. As we maneuvered ourselves through the throngs of fun and celebrations, a girl in pink cowboy boots accosted us — she wanted us to join a viewing gallery she was building and then tried very hard to entertain us all with a pole dance on a lamp post which ended up being a very rude disaster, but nonetheless one of the highlights of the day.
We arrived at the hotly tipped CODE vs. Girl Action party at the Green Carnation at around the same time as every other lesbian in London, which meant that it was mobbed inside and so dancing was a little tricky. After a few martinis and throwing some small shapes on the dance floor (to some really good electro tunes) we made our way down Greek Street through both merriment and post-clubbing tears to stop for some pizza.
The day was slightly tainted by Lee having worn silly shoes, heels that would compete well against most of the drag queens we met. Luckily there was a rickshaw on hand so we traveled past a benevolent London Eye turned rainbow for the occasion and whirled home through London’s cobbled streets.
In the cold light of day, as we scrubbed the various bar stamps from our arms and marveled at the longevity of our fluorescent arm bands, Lee rated her first Pride as four rainbow flags out of five and Sarah proclaimed that every day should be Pride day.
Thanks to www.into-events.com and www.pridelondon.org.
"Great LezBritain" authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.