<p>Research has found that 62 per cent of people believe Pride is important in the fight for LGBT+ rights and to celebrate LGBT+ communities</p>

Research has found that 62 per cent of people believe Pride is important in the fight for LGBT+ rights and to celebrate LGBT+ communities

Pride in London to return for first time since 2019

This year marks the 50th anniversary since the first Pride parade in 1972

Saman Javed
Friday 28 January 2022 21:18
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Pride in London will return to the capital this year following two years of cancellations because of the pandemic.

In an announcement on Thursday (28 January), organisers said the annual parade will return to London’s streets on 2 July, with applications to take part now open.

“We are excited for the return of Pride in London and the opportunity for the LGBT+ community to come together to celebrate our diversity, progress, and individuality,” Christopher Joell-Deshields, executive director for Pride in London said.

He added: “The Pride movement continues to evolve. Organisers across the UK and the world share a collective mission to elevate our community’s voice and raise awareness of the inequality and injustices locally, nationally and globally.”

Research by the group has found that 62 per cent of people believe Pride is important in the fight for LGBT+ rights and to celebrate LGBT+ communities.

The return of the event will mark 50 years since the first Pride parade, with organisers previously calling on the government to “declare 2022 as the year of queer”.

The announcement was welcomed by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who commented: “We have hugely missed having the opportunity to march together for the last two years and it is fantastic that our LGBT+ communities and allies will be able to come together for this 50th anniversary.

“The march of solidarity and celebration has had a huge impact on our society over the last five decades, and by joining together this summer we will again show the world that London is a beacon of inclusiveness, acceptance and diversity.”

However, Pride in London has also received some criticism on social media after it claimed this year’s parade was in “greater collaboration with UK Black Pride”, which the group has denied.

“UK Black Pride is not in partnership or collaboration with Pride in London, nor are we affiliated with them,” UK Black Pride told The Independent.

“Pride in London’s decision to announce a partnership or collaboration with UK Black Pride is misleading and untrue. No conversations have taken place between our organisations about working together.”

In March 2021, a senior black staff member at Pride in London, communications director Rhammel Afflick, resigned from his position citing concerns about racism and ignoring black voices.

In a Medium post about his decision to leave the organisation he wrote: “Within the leadership, there is an unfortunate reluctance to accept that the liberation of LGBT+ people must be coupled with the fight against sexism, ableism, racism and other forms of unacceptable discrimination.

“This reluctance has been evident through a series of decisions taken by Pride in London’s leadership. These decisions are detrimental to all our communities but in particular to black LGBT+ people.”

He said leadership was insistent on “ignoring black voices” and had created a “hostile environment”.

In May 2021, Pride in London released a statement apologising to “the community and those persons who have experienced racism, bullying or any other form of discrimination” while working with the organisation.

“The Pride movement started over 50 years ago to deliver equality for all LGBT+ people. To have not done that for black, brown and Asian people recently, isn’t good enough and falls below the standards to which we’re committed to live by.”

The Independent has contacted Pride in London for comment.

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