Gay Pride London

Proud to be here

This year Pride is celebrating 50 years since the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The London Pride Rally takes place on 6 July. It started with just 1000 people marching from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park in 1972. Last year there were more than a million people on the streets of London.

If you want to see and join in the parade it sets off from Portland Place at 12pm (midday). The crowd go down Oxford Circus, down Regent Street and head towards Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall.

But the event is far removed from early days of LGBT public visibility and protest for equal rights. Here are a few significant highlights on that long and often difficult road:

1972: First British Gay Pride Rally: 1000 people march from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park

1975: Thames Television screen the ground-breaking drama, The Naked Civil Servant, portraying the life of gay icon Quentin Crisp.

1984: Newly elected MP Chris Smith declares, “My name is Chris Smith and I’m gay”, making him the first openly gay politician in Britain

1987: Princess Diana makes a point of not wearing gloves when shaking hands with patients in hospital AIDS wards

2000: The government scraps the policy barring gay men and women from the Armed Forces

2001: Age of consent for gay sex is lowered to 16

2002: Same-sex couples are granted equal rights to adopt

2004: Gender Recognition Act gives transsexual people legal recognition

2005: First Civil Partnership between two men

2014: Same-sex marriage becomes legal throughout the UK; Queen Elizabeth II praises London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard on its 40th anniversary.


Why not celebrate Pride with an LGBT themed tour of bohemian Soho – learn of the men and women who lived, worked and loved in the area – or meet those brave individuals throughout history who flouted sexual convention with an LGBTQ tour of the National Portrait Gallery.