Today was the 20th annual PRIDE Parade here in London. The skies went from clear, to cloudy and back to clear again throughout the day, but the rain held off until evening. I have walked in the parade a few years, and this year was the first that my employer, Western University, would be represented in the parade, so I put on some purple and joined the party.
I had to get my photo taken with Western's mascot, JW. Even though the sun wasn't out, it was still warm, and I'm sure it was extra sticky inside that mustang suit. I, on the other hand was quite comfortable in the thrifted jumpsuit I found yesterday at Talize. Participants were offered Western t-shirts to wear in the parade, but if I was going to wear purple, it was going to be my own version, thank you very much.
There are a lot of photos in this post folks, so I decide to organize them into three categories: The Colours, the Faces and the Parade.
While we were waiting in the parking lot at the Western Fairgrounds for the parade to get underway, I took advantage of the time to get shots of the glorious colors.
Of course, there are always balloons
This group was rocking their rainbow colours in every form, from tie-dye to fun fur
The parade is usually led by the Dykes on Bikes, and their rainbow flag-decorated motorcycles were ready to roll.
The London Middlesex Roller Derby Girls, the Backlash Betties, were there
The Forest City Derby Girls were a veritable rainbow on wheels
You could see this woman from all the way across the parking lot
Some people took the colour thing to the extreme
This group of Amazons (and a budding warrior) were no less visible in their earth tones
When I got to the parking lot where everyone was assembling prior to the start of the parade, I saw this young woman standing by herself, and she prompted a lot of questions in my head - was she part of a group? Was it her first parade? What was she thinking about as she was standing there?
The Pride Parade, which caps off over a week of Pride Festivities, has really become a family affair
There was a time when most of the people who walked in, and watched the parade were gay men, but not so anymore. Gay, straight, old, young, ethnically diverse, two-legged and four-legged - we all come together to celebrate diversity and to proudly show our true selves to the world.
There is still fabulousness and flamboyance, but the number of drag queens in the parade has declined over the years.
They have been replaced by organizations like the London Police Services, various political parties, London firefighters, law firms, financial institutions and non-profits. And then there are the regular folks like those in the photo above.
I was part of the purple pack walking behind this banner, which looks more blue than purple most likely because of my dying camera.
I didn't know we had such a large Druid contingent in London
This woman's outfit made my jumpsuit look downright conservative by comparison
The Warrior Queen in full regalia - this woman makes her own costumes and every year I look forward to seeing what she's come up with. She deserves a special award just for walking the entire parade route in heels.
Pride for all
This couple had the best sign in the parade
The Forest City Derby Girls were rollin'
After the parade, two friends took the obligatory selfie
We paid a visit to the Come As You Are booth to check out the latest toys, wolfed down a Burrito and parted ways. I was invited to drink Prosecco with some neighbours on their porch, which was the perfect ending to an all-around good day. I think it may have to become an annual tradition.