Last Saturday saw London’s most diverse Pride ever with more than 500 LGBT groups marching through Central London celebrating diversity and equality. The theme of this year’s Pride is Pride Matters following a piece of research undertaken by Pride in London to establish why Pride is still important in 2018 – whether as a protest, celebration, symbol of freedom or platform for diversity. Thirty thousand people marched and more than a million watched the iconic parade!

46 years after the first march through London streets, the meaning of Pride has changed, and nearly 80% of LGBT people now consider it a celebration. However, 82% of the LGBT community also agree that Pride is ‘an important reminder that the fight for equality is not yet won’. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. I ask you to watch the emotional video below to a remake of Somewhere Over the Rainbow to see why I believe Pride is still necessary. 



And if that isn’t clear enough, those of you who follow Pride will know that there was an anti-trans demonstration by a small group of transphobic protesters during the parade. Intrinsic to Pride is the power of protest, but I am appalled that this act of bigotry was allowed to happen. I am pleased that this small group was overwhelmed by the thousands of trans people and their supporters who followed on behind. 

So what role did Wandsworth Oasis play in Pride this year? Well, firstly, while nothing specifically to do with us, we were delighted that Wandsworth Council Leader, Cllr Ravi Govindia, agreed to fly the Rainbow Flag over Wandsworth Town Hall on Saturday to celebrate Pride 2018. This is a first for Wandsworth and one we truly are grateful for. This was as a result of a letter to the Council Leader from our friends at Wandsworth LGBTQ Forum with whom we have very close links, as you would imagine. Putney MP Justine Greening joined the forum and the Leader to raise the freedom flag.

The flag was also flying over the Mental Health Trust estate at Springfield Hospital – here is our Tooting MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan with the forum and members of the trust as well as our own Trustee, Tooting resident, Richard Aldridge.  


 

Secondly, we were delighted to march with Pride with our friends at the Wandsworth LGBTQ Forum and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. What a day the team had!

And finally, of course, we celebrated with Pride in our nine shops across Wandsworth and Lambeth!