This year, Pride month is looking bigger and bolder than ever before. 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots, which was a catalyst for the Gay Liberation movement, and the following decades saw an increase in acceptance and legal rights for the LGBT community. In 2018, London Pride attracted one million partygoers, so let’s make this Jubilee year really one to celebrate. Here is your ultimate guide to 2019’s Pride month, so grab your diary (and your glitter!) now...
London is full of Pride events - don't miss out
SoLo Craft Fair: Pride Special
SoLo Craft Fair is putting on an extra-special twist to their Balham Summer Market by donating a portion of their profits to the Albert Kennedy Foundation, which supports homeless people of the LGBT community. Find one-off colourful fashion and homeware products and make sure you make time for some fun at the glitter station and tombola.
Balham Summer Market 8th June, 12pm, Free. Learn more.
Pride in London 10k Run
Grab your trainers for this one (and see it as a good warm-up for the parties to come) because there’s a 10k race in Hyde Park on the 9th June for all you keen (or not-so-keen, it’s an accepting bunch!) runners. It’s for all ages and abilities and aims to raise money for the Pride in London festival and parade, which costs £1million to run every year. So donate what you can and use it as an excuse to don some bright gym gear and sweat-proof face paint.
The Pride parade takes place in July, but there are plenty of events in June
Hyde Park 9th June, 9:30am, from £16. Buy tickets.
Pride’s Got Talent Music and Cabaret Final
Pride’s Got Talent started with Ian Massa-Harris-McFeely in 2014, and aims to celebrate emerging talent in the LGBT community. This year, 100’s of stars auditioned, and they’ve been whittled down to the most outstanding, mind-blowing acts. So make sure you buy your tickets and cheer on your favourite performers to become Pride’s Got Talent champions at the Apollo Theatre. And why not attend both finals, just for fun?
Music: 9th June, 6:30pm, from £11.50
Cabaret: 16th June, 6:30pm, from £11.50, NIMAX.
Pride: From Stonewall to the Present
Matthew Todd, the former editor of Attitude magazine, is heading to Chiswick for a conversation about "his career and the fight for equality in the LGBTQ community". Matthew wrote 'Straight Jacket' on the subject of mental health in gay men, which Elton John has described as "an essential read for every gay person on the planet", and his latest book Pride: from Stonewall to Present focuses on the history of the LGBTQ equality movement.
11th June, 8pm, The Pilot Pub, Chiswick. From £9.12, eventbrite.
The London Gay Men’s Chorus presents Hitsville
The London Gay Men’s Chorus started in 1991 when nine friends joined forces during the AIDs crisis to sing some Christmas carols and raise some money for the Terrence Higgins Trust. It’s now the largest gay choir in Europe, boasting over 200 members, and aims to "entertain, educate, and inspire through song". Their ‘Hitsville’ show "celebrate[s] the iconic sound of Motown and its influence over the last 60 years", with hits from Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse. So grab some tickets and get ready to tap your feet.
15th June, 4pm and 9pm, from £17.50. Buy tickets.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan attends Pride
Love Means Love Bike Ride
If the Hyde Park run isn’t quite your thing but you fancy working up a sweat, join IBike London as they 'Ride With Pride' through the streets. Choose your best lycra and add as much glitter and face paint as you please as you cycle with the fleet of Disco bikes for the #PrideRide. It’s for all abilities and you can bring snacks and drinks to keep you going. And why not jazz up your bike, too?
22nd June, 1pm, Waterloo Bridge
London Gaymers Video and Board Games Day
If late-night cabarets and glitter festivals aren’t your thing but a pint and good old-fashioned game of Monopoly is, then head to Secret Weapon in Stratford. Choose from 100s of board and console games, and use the opportunity to meet like-minded gamers in London. Although if you’re out to make friends, maybe tone down the competitive streak, if you’re likely to squabble over Scrabble…
Secret Weapon Stratford 29th June, 3pm, Free.
Limin's LGBT Caribbean Charity Brunch
Limin owners Sham Mahabir and James Togut met 21 years ago at LGBT charity London Friend, so they're throwing a delicious brunch on Sunday 23rd June based around Caribbean food. Guests can expect mouth-watering dishes such as rainbow doubles, plantain balls, wings in scotch bonnet mango jam, bake, and sea bass, curry crab and dumplings and a range of desserts including rum cake and sweet paratha dusted with brown sugar, cinnamon and topped with rum. Brunch attendees will also have the chance to enter Limin’s Pride Raffle, where prizes include dinner for two at Parks Edge Bar & Kitchen, a pair of VIP tickets to Limin’s Street Party later this month, Plantation Rum and Carnival passes from both Pure Lime and Bacchanalia. All profits will go to London Friend.
Tickets can be purchased here from Eventbrite.
Pride in Writing
Calling all bookworms! Celebrate the work of LGBTQ+ authors by attending an evening with Stella Duffy at Waterstones Piccadilly. Authors will be taking part in a number of panel discussions about "life writing, gender fluidity, queering genre, and making history". There’s limited space, so make sure you sign up as soon as possible.
Waterstones Piccadilly 4th July, 6:30pm, from £6. Learn more on eventbrite.
Madame Tussauds London presents Holly Stars’ Big Pride Cabaret
Madame Tussauds London is the home of many stars, but on Friday 5th July, the eve of Pride in London’s parade, it is set to host Holly Stars – the beloved comedian Queen, for a one-night drag-stravaganza: Holly Stars’ Big Pride Cabaret. So, what can the audience expect from the show? Starting off with hilarious and outrageous stories from Holly Stars herself, guests will then be treated to show tunes and silliness from Carrot; belly-dancing from the South Asian royal goddess, Minara El Waters; a fiery extravaganza from Prinx Silver and an outstanding drag burlesque performance from Lilly SnatchDragon. There will also be fundraising on the night for MindOut, the leading LGBTQ mental health organisation in the UK.
Tickets are £20 each and available now at here.
Check out Pride's World Area
Pride is all about inclusion, and this year they've announced a new 'World Area Stage', aiming to showcases LGBTQ+ and BAME talent. From 12pm on the day of Pride, the space in partnership with JUICE will "host a stage with an array of established and emerging LGBT+ artists, DJs, and presenters". It can be found in Golden Square and will focus on LGBT+ people from African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American communities, and they'll be hosting street food and community stalls. Christopher Joell-Deshields from Pride in London said: "We are really excited about this new partnership with JUICE. We have taken actions from our impact report, listened to the community and we are striving to ensure that no one at Pride in London feels excluded or underrepresented. With this year being the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and with everything that is happening globally targeted at the LGBT+ community, it’s important that Pride in London is an event in which everyone feels welcomed and a true part of it."
Have a rainbow cocktail at Genuine Liquorette
Liquorette is throwing a party to celebrate on Saturday 6th July! With a cocktail ‘lemonade stand’ outside inspired by the bar’s all-American heritage, face painting and even a white unicorn (!), Liquorette will have everything you need to celebrate this inspiring and happy day. The amazing bartenders at Liquorette have created a special citrus and vodka cocktail for the occasion, which can be enjoyed in any of your favourite colours of the rainbow. There will be plenty of donation buckets to raise money for Pride in London too, so dig deep.
Bottomless Rainbow Brunch at VIVI
Are you ready to drink the rainbow? At VIVI, you can choose from bottomless bubbles, Bloody Marys or Aperol Spritzes, and enjoy three courses of colourful brunch dishes such as smashed avocado on grilled sourdough and eggs Royale. Music comes courtesy of ALR Music – expect a killer set list featuring Cher, Gaga and much more Pride-perfect fabulousness – and there’s even a prize for the best dressed, so don’t be shy! It all kicks off at 11:30am, so tuck in!
Tickets are £35 for the three-course brunch, and you can go bottomless for £17.50 extra. £1 from each ticket will be donated towards LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt. Book yours here.
And where to shop....
Pride in London
Pride in London has unveiled an exclusive pop-up shop in Seven Dials in collaboration with Mary Portas. I will sell the new range of official Pride in London merchandise including clothing, flags and tote bags representing all communities – as well as the first-ever bisexual and transgender flag face paints. it will also be a community hub and safe space for people to drop in and learn more about Pride, and will include a diverse schedule of talks and workshops,
Mickey Mouse has had a rainbow upgrade!
If Disney films are some of your ultimate guilty pleasures (and we have NO judgement here), then why not grab some rather fabulous merchandise featuring a very colourful Mickey makeover? Disney Store has released a Rainbow Disney Collection, with some proceeds going towards the Diversity Role Models charity, and we are OBSESSED with the rainbow Mickey ears and the super funky Mickey T-shirt. Available in the London Oxford Street, Westfield White City, and Westfield Stratford Disney stores. Race you there!
Pretty Little Thing has a #MyPride collection
Pretty Little Thing
The online retailer has launched a campaign to support Pride this year called #MyPride, and is donating 100% of its profit towards registered Pride charities in the UK. They've gathered an "ultimate group of pride advocates who regardless of race, sexuality or gender, each has their own story", and the collection is full of vibrant prints and gender-neutral denim. Influencer @jadelaurice says “Pride is important to me because it is an event where my visibility and equality as a queer woman is prioritized and celebrated" and drag queen @gothykendoll adds "Working throughout the year within the gay community, I recognise that pride season is a time when we can truly celebrate who we are and how far we’ve come in recent years". So wear your rainbow colours with pride, as "equality looks good on everyone".
Shop the collection at PrettyLittleThing.com