Amongst hundreds of whistles, whooos, claps, and high fives, marchers yell ‘happy pride’ to all of us.
Of course, the level of fabulousness was unbelievable, but the happiness was just infectious. Although some people didn’t really understand what was going on, the people who walked and watched were just the most amazing crowd you could wish for.
So full of love and support, I couldn’t help but feel happy for my friends who identify with the labels in LGBTQ. But I also couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness for those who are facing social ostracism for who they are.
Many charities marched yesterday, all of which made me realise the social and political injustices that the LGBTQ community still faces. I couldn’t believe that the HIV stigma still exists, and the things that I thought were basic human rights were not so basic. For example, I don’t understand why LGBTQ couples shouldn’t be able to adopt children, yet, the movement for it exists, which means that a prejudice against LGBTQ people (still) exists.
Strong on such social issues, politics didn’t stay far away. Upon arriving at Trafalgar Square, the first thing you notice is a “Fuck the D.U.P.” sign, floating in the air. The conservative party’s marchers were booed (feeling bad for them because they probably have members who genuinely support minorities).
But as politics didn’t stay away, the news didn’t either. Marchers showed their support, for example, for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, and for the attacked mosque in Finsbury Park.
The public service sector was therefore well celebrated. Some looked awkward, and others loved the cheering and gave out high fives. And truth be told, they suffer just as much from austerity as we do, if not more. Their work this year has been amazing and they truly served the public selflessly.
Several nations across the world joined in, especially from areas where I would have thought there is less acceptance. Being from an Asian background, I feel that a lot of people still don’t accept non-binary genders or sexualities. And from real life conversations I had with people from a particular nation (I don’t want to give any names), I know that their views on the LGBTQ community lacks understanding and is straightforward mean. So seeing these nations represented among the marchers made me happy, that there are communities that support isolated people.
Religious groups made a proud appearance, supporting love over hatred. I knew that some religious groups were supportive of equality for LGBTQs but seeing them for real is like seeing magic on stage. It was real and genuine.
Yesterday, people came together to celebrate everything that was true. You could be anyone you wanted to be. It was a community of acceptance, not just tolerance. We came together to celebrate each other with dancing and with singing Cher and Queen.
And the ultimate message is this: whoever you are, you are not alone in this world. There is love in this world, all you need to do is reach out and keep being strong.
Happy Pride, everyone!