Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for June 30th, 2007

Singing in the Rain

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 30th June, 2007

london-pride-2007.jpgBaroness Sarah Ludford, MEP, and I this afternoon joined Councillor Lucy Watt, fellow Islington party member Farhana Hoque, DELGA Chair Jen Yockney and many thousands of others on the London Pride march. Even if the army had decreed that LGBT soldiers could not march in uniform, the navy and airforce were there, as well as police, and a cavalcade of every age, ethnicity, profession and fantasy. At the same event last year, we roasted in the sun, whereas this time we got drenched, all the way from Portman Square to Trafalgar Square (where Sarah later spoke). Yet there was no dampening the spirit of those taking part, nor the tremendous welcome and expression of support for the march, from both Londoners and tourists alike, who lined the route in their tens of thousands, cheering, whistling and taking photos — including many of the LibDem banner. No-one was going to let either the appalling weather or Thursday night’s attempted car-bombing in Haymarket spoil the mood of what has become one of the most colourful and joyful celebrations of London’s diversity.

A small huddle of homophobic religious fundamentalists stood forlornly behind a police cordon at one corner of Pall Mall, proclaiming that the marchers were damned unless we all repented. We waved cheerily at them and smiled sweetly as we marched on. We can be truly proud in this country that in general, we don’t just tolerate but also respect different lifestyles — a situation that has been spreading across Europe and the Americas, partly thanks to legislation, even if in many countries round the world, equal rights for all still have to be attained.


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