Brighton Girl Experience: Pride Weekend 2018

Brighton’s spectacular three day Pride festival is all over for another year, but it was definitely a weekend to remember. I’ve lived in Brighton for a year now and during this time I’ve never seen the city as busy as it was during Pride. I even wrote about what I was expecting on Brighton Girl just before the weekend. It was so wonderful that there was such a big turn out and it was great to see so many happy LGBT+ couples and people dressed up in rainbow attire in honour of the occasion.

Brighton has always been a very LGBT+ friendly place, and that really showed at the weekend as nearly every store had a rainbow flag hung up in their window. The weather also stayed hot and sunny for the weekend so the beach was full of Pride goers and everyone was in high spirits. In general there was a really great atmosphere around the city, and even though it was very busy and hot, everyone was polite and respectful.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get tickets to the concert in Preston Park; seeing as Britney Spears was the headline act, tickets sold out incredibly quickly, however it’s safe to assume that she gave an amazing performance and I was so glad she was playing in Brighton as she has so many LGBT+ fans, including myself.

I went to the parade on Saturday morning, and as I’d never actually been to a Pride parade before I didn’t know what to expect, however I was absolutely amazed at how incredible it was. I watched the parade from North Street which was lined with people draped in rainbow flags and flower garlands and even though it was busy it was still easy to get a front row view.

The parade began to pass me at around 11.30 am and lasted around two hours in total. I knew Brighton Pride was a big event but I didn’t realise quite how many would be marching and it was brilliant that there were so many organisations, companies and individuals there to show their support. Those marching in the parade included both of Brighton’s universities, the local samba school, the gay men’s choir, and numerous dancers, performers and drag queens.

It was so clear that all those marching had put so much effort into their costumes and floats, and it definitely paid off as everyone looked amazing and the crowd seemed to be having a great time. There were also a lot of charities marching in the parade in support of the LGBT+ community, as well as many international corporations such as LYNX, Virgin and Boohoo.com.

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One of the more controversial occurrences in the parade was Paddy Power’s float which claimed to be a bus of ‘all the gay professional football players’, whilst it was in fact a completely empty bus. I do understand the point the company were trying to make as there really isn’t enough sexual diversity in the sports industry, however I agree with the general consensus that whilst a stunt like this may highlight an issue, it isn’t always the best way forward in terms of actually encouraging more diversity in football. But besides this, the rest of the parade was brilliant and it made me genuinely happy to see so many people taking a stand for the LGBT+ community and celebrating love in all its shapes and sizes.

Although Pride weekend may be over for now I really do think it has a lasting effect in terms of the money it raised for LGBT+ charities and the tolerant attitude it spreads. Pride means so much to me and to the LGBT+ community as a whole, plus it’s essential in the fight for equality, so I’m thrilled that so much effort gets put into Brighton Pride. And of course, the all-important question is; will I be returning to Pride next year?

Definitely.

Written by Rachel S.D.B

Read her blog here