It's that time of year again folks, Pride season is upon us and bigger than ever. Celebrating LGBTQI+ culture for the lucky few is every day of the year but for many this annual event is the prime opportunity to get out and celebrate. Whether you are a member of the community or an ally, Pride is the biggest chance to show your love and support for queers and queer history. Luckily, there are lots of
Pride London 2018 events where you can do that.
The Pride movement
originated from the "Stonewall Riots" back in 1969, in New York City's Cristopher St queer hangout, The Stonewall Inn. When members of the LGBTQI+ community finally fought back against constant police raids and violence against the community.
However, sadly, Pride has become a bit of a minefield for some, and unaffordable for those on a tighter budget. The issues around
corporate involvement have been widely discussed, but one problem I've heard reports of this year from friends in the community is around fair remuneration for performers. The knowledge that Pride–for–profit is an actual thing has left many disillusioned with the celebration itself, but putting your hard earned cash back into the community takes the edge off those entry fees. So fear thee not, we have the best and cheapest ways to enjoy Pride 2K18. Enjoy. Top Tips Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Having done a few more prides than I would care to admit, there are lots of good tips I have learned to make the whole experience easier. One of the main things is to pack your bag wisely, considering the length of the day itself and the hot weather expected. Make sure you bring.:
Water Snacks Suncream/hat Booze (the prices in town are redonk so plan ahead) Loo roll (never any in the toilets) Comfy shoes Safe place for money (insert jokes here) Suitably devastatingly divine attire Pride Parade, July 7 Rob Stothard/Getty Images News/Getty Images
OK let's start with the obvious, the big old parade itself! A completely free event, all you have to do is pay for your travel there and you can bring your own refreshments. It's the main star of the day with countless unpaid volunteers, fun floats, and some pretty amazing costumes.
According to prideinlondon.org, the route is as follows
"The parade sets off from Portland Place at 12 p.m. (midday), moving down Oxford Circus, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and then passing Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall. We recommend that spectators avoid busy locations such as Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus and the parade will fill the whole afternoon until around 5pm."
So that is your first part of the day set. Make sure and shout and cheer and wave because Pride is the perfect time to celebrate your extra/OTT side.
The site also has information on accessibility, which you can access via
their website. Soho Square Community Village, July 7 Rob Stothard/Getty Images News/Getty Images
No matter what your plans are, you absolutely must hit up Soho Square. It is the annual queer hotspot and meeting point for nearly everyone and a great place to chill out on the day itself.
This year it hosts the
Community village, which will see stalls representing over 30 different charities and/or non profit groups. A fantastic way to show support to organisations, take some chill time and bonus points for there being lots of toilets there. Cabaret Stage, July 7 Carl Court/Getty Images News/Getty Images
This is the one to check out if you want to see some pretty cool queer performers. Love a bit of drag? Then feast your eyes on this baby.
It will all be kicking off down in Dean Street, which is right next to Soho Square, so this fits in nicely if you want to dip in and out of all the shows. LOL as if, this place will have you hooked.
With shows all day, from 12:30 p.m. until early evening, prepare to be entertained and astounded by some of the best talent in the business.
Check out the line-up here Women's Stage, July 7 Jack Taylor/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Yes you heard me, there is a stage for us female queers!
Diva Magazine is partnering with Pride London for an all female line up at this mega stage.
Set up in Leicester Square, fan faves like Betty and DJ Vylit will be banging out the tunes and getting everybody up off their feet. Check out drag kings like host and personal favourite
Adam All will have you baying for more, if you haven't already lost your voice. Check out the line-up here Trafalgar Square Stage, July 7 Ming Yeung/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The main stage with the biggest acts, Trafalgar is a must see. Acts including
Drag Race star Courtney Act and the UK Eurovision act SuRie will be performing. I really hope they do a joke stage invasion as a part of her performance.
With this year set to be an absolute scorcher, it's all but guaranteed that you will have the usual crowd jumping in the fountains, which is understandable but please y'all, don't because safety first!
Check out the line-up here Black Pride, July 8 Kena Betancur/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Like most events, Pride is sadly often lacking on the diversity side of things. This is your chance to stand in support and solidarity of LGBTQI+ people of colour.
Founded back in 2005, Black Pride is Europe's largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Caribbean heritage LGBTQI+ people and allies.
Black Pride is kicking off in Vauxhall from 12 p.m. and will be an all day affair.
Check out the event schedule here Best Alternative After Party
If you aren't all tuckered out after a long day celebrating everything LGBTQI+, where the heck are you going to go to get your groove on?
Sadly, if you want quality you will have to pay entry fee in this case but how about I give you some afterparties that are £10 or less entry, and worth that money? I always say to hit up my old stomping ground East London for the best and most fun parties.
My personal tip would be my favourite little drinking hole,
The Glory. Two floors of madness and home to some of the most wonderful performances, this year is set to be an Irish Pride party, Sodom And Begorrah! Yes! Double pride for me. Queens Annie Pics and Xnthony will be hosting a fab cabaret with DJs including queer Irish legend herself, Dance Armstrong among other artists, partying until 3 a.m. Tickets are sadly sold out but get down there early as 200 tickets will be available on the door for £10. Check out more info here
With all this fun to be had, the most important thing to remember is to be safe and have fun. Free events and LOLs means, there is something to do no matter how low your budget is because pride in who you are doesn't cost a damn thing. Be fabulous, be fun, be free, and most importantly, be proud.