London Pride celebrates have a century since the end of discrimination
Oxford Street was the meeting point for over 26.000 people celebrating Pride in London and reflecting over the many positive changes that occurred since the end of LGBT+ discrimination.
8 Jul 2017 – The Guardian
“You’d have to hide the fact of where you were going when you made the journey, and I knew people who were beaten up when they were discovered,” recalled Ward, 71, who was parading with the Older Lesbian Network on one of the most auspicious dates in the event’s 45-year history.
As ever, music was at the heart of revelries, not least when a military brass band lit up thousands of faces as they struck up the theme from Fame. But there was also history as the parade marked 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales.
Its significance was not lost on Ward and her friends, even if they also had sympathy for the claims this week by Peter Tatchell that Pride had “morphed into a commercialised, bureaucratic and rule-bound event”.
A celebration that he had taken part in since its beginnings in 1972 had now become commodified, added the veteran gay-rights campaigner, in one of the latest reiterations of the claim that commercialisation was stealing the event’s soul.
“I would have to agree with him, to be honest,” said Beth Moir, a friend of Ward’s, as she used her hands to rattle one of the metal barriers separating onlookers from parade participants, including the members of their party, a lesbian-run group for over-40s.
“I know it’s for security but it’s hard to get away from the feeling of us being kettled,” she added.