I would say its only been about two full years that I have stood with my head up and say that I was proud of who I was and my orientation. Its not something that I usually advertise a lot because I feel its my business, but now in my 30’s I know with out a shadow of a doubt that I am bisexual. I will spare all the Bisexual myth busting. All I know is yes we do really exist, no we are not greedy or unfaithful. In fact I was in a committed relationship for over 10 years and never cheated.
But for me I think what also helps me hold my head high is being in a work environment that fully embraces and encourages its workers to be who they are. This is a concept that is completely foreign to me. I lived in an area of America called the “Bible Belt” and although my family were very encouraging and supportive of me, a lot of pressures from the surrounding community made me want to just be silent. I also got a lot of you are either Gay or your not, and I didn’t feel full one or the other.
flash forward to now as these thoughts and reflections where flickering in my head as I am in a cramped Southern Train travelling from Brighton to meet up with my work colleges to march in the 2018 parade.
Earlier the previous day we had a glorious Pride Bake Sale for Charity and it was Rainbows Galore. Some of the cakes were absolutely divine and I was impressed by the detail and devotion some of the bakers put into their concoctions. I almost didn’t want to eat it. I wanted to do my trademark Jello-Shots (and was even surprised that people were requesting them) but sadly I was unable with the funds this year.
Finally after shuffling a crowd of either pride supporters or Wimbledon spectators, or finally people wanting to watch the World Cup it was clear London was going to be packed! Once I caught my breath after leaving the sardine can of a train I made my way to Wardour Street and taking in all the shop fronts on Oxford street flashing various signs of support for Pride.
I had a chuckle to myself that how a lot of people in America get their back up if their favourite brand shows support and then feel the need to tweet they will no longer be supporting them. you don’t get a lot of that here in England, or at least the places where I live and work. I counted my lucky stars with a smile across my face and I moved closer to the office. Soho was really quiet and empty. the streets had been blocked off by cars so the usual traffic was non-existent.
Even my favourite doughnut shop across the street from work had pride related doughnuts. Small breakfast down it was time to reach our designated meet up spot as it was time to get ready in our large kitchen with various make up and glitter. We were walking under the Technicolor Name as that’s the head company that owns Moving Picture Company, but for the most part it was all MPC people. We also had the luxury that we could leave our stuff securely and not worry about taking it all around us.
Music blaring the usual Gay anthems we were all pumped and ready to head to the Parade Route. Snaking around the back streets of upper NOHO trying to find our location.
I saw various other groups like Disney who had amazing balloons and ILM with their rainbow Stormtrooper helmet (I wanted that shirt so bad) and the WWF which I have a shirt for them but was already marching with my friends. After some unhelpful parade marshals and due to being a small group we just joined in.
We all looked at each other in a collective moment of “Are we really doing this?” then hit the music on the bluetooth speaker and began to march. Due to being an Urban Cyclist I knew exactly where we were, just north of the main Oxford Circus crossing. It was surreal seeing a massive crowd cheering and waving at us like we were celebrities.
But we were just a merry band of VFX misfits from MPC living it up and it was amazing. I made a decision that every BI Flag I saw a person waving I would walk up to them and give them either a high five of a hug. Surprisingly all of them were a hug, even got a kiss on the cheek. I only found about 6 of them, but I wanted them to know that I was grateful and that our representation matters just as much as everyone else.
Adrenaline and alcohol was taking over as we weaved around Regent Street and towards Piccadilly Circus. I turned to my friend and fellow editor and was just nearly in tears. Here we were walking in the streets of London at London PRIDE!!! my little small-town-girl heart couldn’t take it. Piccadilly statue to our left we headed down towards the MALL
and the street got wider and the crowd got bigger. a roller-skating drag queen with a Rainbow and England flags with coordinating footballs started skating around us which got even more cheers. England was playing right at that moment and was winning!
we made our way past the Canadian embassy and we were soon passing Trafalgar Square. at this point the heat was no longer on my mind nor the nearly 3 miles we had walked. this was a walk in the park and the energy and excitement was intoxicating. I continued to take photos of my friends and group and video for and upcoming vlog. Looking ahead I saw the top of Big Ben still cloaked in scaffolding but I didn’t care, I knew he was under there.
Finally almost as fast as it started it was over. we were gently directed to vier to the left and my 2018 London Pride Parade experience was over. I had a scratchy voice from all the singing and dancing. my feet actually didn’t hurt too bad and the heat was long forgotten. We all made our various plans to meet up after and I collected my things and after some dancing and much earned Nando’s it was time to head back to Brighton.
arriving at Victoria Station, I boarded a usual train with two bottles of water to rehydrate, then proceed to crash out and sleep. A good thing that Brighton Station was the end of the line otherwise I would have arrived god knows where. Once there I was surrounded by drunk football supporters chanting the usual “Its coming home” song as England had won and was now in the semi-finals. I just wanted to catch the number 7 bus and head home. Now my body was coming down and my bed was calling me.
With a deep sigh of relief I face planted on my bed (which was later covered in rainbow paint and glitter and closed my eyes with a smile. I would never forget this day, not matter how fast it flew by and was lucky that I could say I marched in the London Pride Parade.