I attended my first pride and here’s what happened…
Saturday 13th August, Cardiff. The sun was shining, birds may or may not have been singing and I headed out to my first pride event ever. I’ve always been supportive of the LGBTQA+ community and with one of my best friends recently coming out as bisexual and myself a demisexual, it was only right we participated in the celebration of love and equality at Pride Cymru.
The day began on the train into Cardiff where tons of people were sporting multicoloured outfits and accessories all in spirit of love and acceptance. Nobody felt the need to think that people were questioning their sexuality or gender because, at the end of the day, no matter who you loved or who you were, you were there for the same reason. I think perhaps the reason as to why we were all there was summed up perfectly when a boy who was on my train departed the platform and waited outside the station and looked rather nervous until he looked up and the emotion changed in his eyes. He ran towards another boy, presumably his partner, and enveloped him into a hug before kissing him passionately and crying. That was the true reasoning behind all of this. Love is love and you cannot tell me otherwise that what those two boys shared in that moment was anything else.
The streets of Cardiff were draped with rainbows everywhere, never had I seen so much colour in one place at one time. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits and the lack of hatred was satisfying. Shops of all kinds of brands were symbolising acceptance in some shape or form and preparing for the big parade which would open the pride event. LUSH Cosmetics, in particular, went the extra mile with the staff bearing rainbow themed makeup and accessories along with the shop floor covered in pride flags and colour.
— United By Pop (@unitedbypop) August 13, 2016
The parade consisted of thousands of people – from individuals to groups and communities, even charities and promotional teams. Music was blaring, chants were yelled and the city watched in awe of the people who marched in unity and proclaiming beliefs of love, happiness and equality. A truly remarkable moment where people from all backgrounds, races and different walks of life united as one. It was enough to send shivers down your spine.
The pride event itself consisted of fairground rides, a variety of stalls and eateries and topped off with a main stage full of performers. The beauty of it was that there was something for everyone, whether it was colouring in and games for children, recruitment for activities and events for equality or even charities and organisations to help people. It was a safe feeling environment, despite the hustle and bustle along with an undertone of alcohol.
The sun was beating down and many gathered to the main stage, sitting on the grass to watch performers. Variety was an understatement as the day saw a mix from local acts to slightly bigger names including The Voice’s Joe and Jake, Danny Beard, Jordan Gray and B*Witched. Presenters included ITV Wales’ Ruth Wignall and former member of pop group Steps’ Ian ‘H’ Watkins who kept the crowd entertained between performances.
The entire event was absolutely queer to say the least, but it wouldn’t be pride without it. Weird and wonderful people dressed up to emphasise the variety of sexualities and genders and people kitted out in multi colours. It was bonkers, it was beautiful and it was a sense of togetherness. Pride Cymru 2017? I’ll be there in a heartbeat.
Featured image credit: Wales Online