12 of the Best Photos as Thousands Turned Out for Pride Marches in Brighton and Leeds
“It’s massively important that Pride events still happen.”
This weekend, thousands of people turned out to celebrate and demonstrate in Pride marches in Brighton and Leeds.
The annual festival in Brighton is the biggest LGBTQ event in the country — with 57,000 people joining the march through the city, which culminated in a party in Preston Park. This year, Britney Spears headlined the show, in her first UK performance since 2016.
In Leeds, up to 120 floats took part in the procession through the city centre on Saturday, according to the BBC. The march started at Millennium Square and ended at Lower Briggate.
According to organisers, the parade, which has been running since 2006, is “Yorkshire’s biggest celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans life.”
“It’s massively important that Pride events still happen,” said director of Leeds Pride, Liaqat Ali. “It’s not the protest that it was, but it’s still so relevant now. There’s about 70 countries where it’s still illegal to be gay.”
“Leeds is actually leading the way. We’re one of the few Prides that is still free and open to everyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality — anything like that — it’s open to everyone,” Ali added.
As LGBTQ people’s rights have increasingly been recognised around the world in recent decades, marches and demonstrations have evolved into celebrations. But there’s still a lot of work to do before true equality is achieved.
Even in countries where LGBTQ people don't face legal restrictions, however, they still disproportionately face abuse and violence.
On a train from Brighton to London after the Pride event this weekend, for example, a man reportedly threatened to “stab every gay person on this train.”
According to Brighton and Hove-based newspaper the Argus, Pride marchers were subjected to the abuse for around 30 minutes before the British Transport Police arrested a man at Clapham Junction.
Campaigning organisation Stonewall released a report in 2017 that demonstrated the “shocking” levels of hate crime and discrimination that LGBTQ people still face in Britain today.
“The research reveals that anti-LGBT abuse extends far beyond acts of hate and violence on our streets,” it said. “Many LGBT people still endure poor treatment while using public services and going about their lives, whether in their local shop, gym, school, or place of worship.”
The report revealed that 20% of LGBTQ people had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the past year. Among trans people, that rises to 40% of people.
Meanwhile, 80% of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and incidents go unreported, it said, with younger people particularly reluctant to go to the police.