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Half a million people took part in Pride Parade 2013, which was held on Saturday 29th June in central London.
Love (and Marriage) was this years theme. Celebrating not only the achievement of equal marriage in the UK, as well as in various countries around the world, but also the love and support that exists within the LGBT+ community and their friends and families. The parade goes along Oxford Street to Oxford Circus, carries on down Regent Street and along Pall Mall, past Trafalgar Square and finally ends in Whitehall. Over 150 groups registered to take part in the parade. With hundreds more solo people marching at the end, out and proud.
There were many events taking place as part of the Pride in London festival, including:
- Entertainment and speeches on the main stage in Trafalgar Square
- Street parties in Soho, including music and cabaret stages
- Official after-parties such as Hustlaball.
London LGBT+ Community Pride has 4 patrons:
- Sir Ian McKellen
- Sir Elton John
- David Furnish
- Martina Navratilova
Speaking from New Zealand where he is currently filming, Sir Ian McKellen said:
"Pride events continue to be vital in the fight for equality; from their start with the Stonewall riots to the tens of thousands expected on London's streets this year, they provide an important opportunity to come together and campaign.
“The UK is on the verge of joining countries such as New Zealand by legislating for equal marriage, but we must not forget that there's always more to be done both at home and abroad so that all members of the LGBT community can live happily and safely in any community, accepted and valued for who they are.
“We have come so very far since the first Pride march in London in 1972 but our achievements must be guarded and extended by each generation. London is a global city with a vibrant and diverse LGBT+ community; it should be a beacon to the world with a successful Pride that supports groups who work on behalf of the community wherever they are. I am delighted to be one of the Foundation Patrons for Pride in London and I look forward to seeing the event grow."
Commenting on their involvement, Sir Elton John and David Furnish said:
“We are delighted to become Patrons of Pride in London 2013. London is one of the most incredible cities on the planet and deserves a Pride that celebrates the LGBT+ community’s vitality and energy as well as campaigning.
“It’s great to see such a huge number of groups participating in this year’s Parade highlighting the theme "Love (and Marriage)" and the importance of loving relationships to all of us as well as marking the welcome campaign for equal marriage in the UK. This is a huge achievement for the community and our allies and demands a great party!”
Speaking of her involvement as Pride in London’s Global Foundation Patron, Martina Navratilova said:
“London holds a very special place in my heart, it’s not just Wimbledon that I love, it’s the energy of the city and the warm welcome Londoners give me. The city has a global reputation for the strength of its LGBT+ community and has an important role as a beacon to other cities and countries around the world. I am honoured to be participating in Pride this year as the event is re-born in London”
Commenting on their involvement Michael Salter, Chair of London LGBT+ Community Pride said:
"It is truly an honour to have four world famous Patrons for Pride in London 2013. Ian, Elton, David and Martina are renowned for their campaigning work and support of the LGBT+ community. They are each inspirational, loved and admired for the talents that have driven them to the top as well as for their dedication to helping bring about greater equality.
"Sir Elton and David do invaluable work through the Elton John Aids Foundation and have challenged bigotry and homophobia; they are also now role models for gay couples considering parenthood. Martina has proved you can be the best and true to yourself, now she challenges people in positions of power to create a fairer society. Sir Ian is a tireless campaigner who has led the campaign for equality in the UK and supports some of the most disadvantaged."
“Each of them has entertained and delighted us; each of them has a strong connection to London, each recognises that Pride is important to the LGBT+ community and can be great for London too, and each of them embodies the spirit of Pride and I thank them for supporting us.”
For more information about Pride in London: www.londoncommunitypride.org
Specal thanks to Peter Tatchell for all his hard work to the LGBT community and human rights around the world: