As London celebrates Pride this weekend I couldn’t help but reflect on Pride and what it means to be. As a gay man I am pleased that today I live in a country that is considered advanced in gay rights and equality. Even so I think there is still a lot of progress to be made to defect prejudice and provide more education about the LGBTQ+ community.
Growing up I was unfortunate to be in an environment where I wasn’t comfortable with being myself 100% of the time out of fear of being ridiculed or targeted. Having to suppress how you feel can be difficult along with the changes you go through as a teenager and becoming an adult. I’m so happy now that I am comfortable with myself and who I am not to hide any parts of my personality out of fear that someone won’t like the fact that I am gay.
As a teenager I was never able to attend any Pride events and felt uncomfortable on my local gay scene as I was insecure about fitting in. Of course I soon outgrew this the more I became comfortable with who I was. This happened when I surrounded myself with positive people that liked me for who I was.
Now I have attended so many Pride events that I don’t mind skipping one or two! For the month of July there are world wide events to celebrate Pride. Is it necessary? I feel that it is as not all gay rights are equal across the world. What I don’t really agree with is the commercialism that seems to be associated with it. This year many brands seem to be doing dedicated Pride collections to monetize the event which I don’t tend to agree with. Some brands are donating a portion of the sales to charities which isn’t so bad. It will be interesting to see how much bigger the event becomes in the near future. Last year was the biggest turn out for Pride in London.
Pride is not only an important cultural event it’s also a good excuse to let your hair down, have fun and celebrate who you are. The LGTBQ+ fully embraces anyone who wants to celebrate with them and creates a fun environment which encourages you to be who you are whilst having lots of fun. No matter what age or sex you are you can join in on the celebration. Every city celebrates Pride slightly different. London is one of the biggest and consists of a Parade which travels throughout the center of the city throughout the day. Smaller cities often have a more condensed Pride in on central area with performances in a similar set up to a festival. Some events are ticketed too like Brighton Pride which Britney Spears is performing at. You can tell I have done my research right?
It’s also a great excuse to dress up a little more wild and extravagant than you normally would. I’m going to be wearing this ASOS Made in Kenya Co Ord which I have been loving lately. I think it has almost sold out now but I have linked some of my favorite items that I would also wear to celebrate Pride. It contains a lot of color and a little bit of sparkle but whats the reason not to dress a little bit bolder than you normally would? I hope everyone has the opportunity to celebrate Pride wherever you are in the world.
Images by Emma Pharaoh