Pride in London on 8 July set to be the biggest and best ever

Love Happens Here is the theme of this year’s Pride in London celebrations and Pride Day on 8 July is set to be the biggest and best yet.

Alison Camps and Iain Walters of Pride in London explain the meaning of this year’s theme.

 

London is a city of many parts. A melting pot of culture, ideas and values all living together to create something unique in the world. A journey across any of London’s Underground lines will take you through unique and diverse spaces, each different from each other. The vast majority of Londoners champion and proudly celebrate this variety of cultures and enjoy the opportunity to meet people from different communities.

However, it wouldn’t be right to say everything is OK. Whilst freedoms have been enshrined in law, they are far from universally accepted by everyone. Stories of serious hate crimes against LGBT+ people are all too common. And then there are the smaller impacts, the everyday struggles that people in the LGBT+ community face. Ask someone from the LGBT+ community if they have ever had to say, “Yes I do want that double bed” when checking into a hotel with their partner. Ask a trans person if they have ever had to struggle with a phone call because they don’t sound like the person on the other end assumed they would. Ask someone bi if they have ever had someone say, “You just can’t make up your mind.” Whilst these stories might not make the news, they make an impact on people every single day.

So, with that in mind, we have been asking Londoners to confront this prejudice, and beat it with something more powerful; Love. And this year’s campaign, Love Happens Here, acts as a catalyst for this.

First we are exposing the hate. In partnership with the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, we are showing the hate crimes that LGBT+ people face. Along with our partners’ brandwatch, we are also highlighting the abuse and language on social media directed at our community. Expose the hate, show people what happens as a result, and give them an easy way to report hate crimes. If we can show the problem, we can start to solve it.

The main focus of our campaign is about conquering hate with love to show the world the true character of real Londoners. We have gathered stories of LGBT+ love from across London, the small moments, the big moments the important moments, and plotted them on a map of love you can see on our website. We have taken many of these stories and created bespoke illustrations of them. You can find them on digital billboards, in print, online, on taxis and in bars. We’ve partnered with Channel 4 to do something really special on the day of Pride and alongside their LGBT+ programming. We’ve also got an incredible programme of videos made with Endemol/ Brown Eyed Boy that will tell the stories of LGBT+ past and present on this, the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation in the UK.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible pro-bono support of partners from across the creative industries in London. First up, our creative partner WCRS who havejoined us for a second year. Next, all the out of home billboard suppliers who have gifted us space which we could only have dreamed of. Production partners Pulse who made our TV adverts, and Endemol as well as Channel 4 who continue to be a beacon for equality.

Finally, the incredible Pride in London Marketing team. We ask a lot of our volunteers, from media buyers to creatives to graphic designers; they have all worked so hard to make this happen for a virtually non-existent budget. We are now the largest Pride marketing campaign in the world, but this is all down to them and their incredible dedication, passion and knowhow.

We are lucky to live in a city of love and a champion of diversity, but freedoms are fragile.

Love Happens Here in London, but it’s up to all of us to keep it that way.

For more information go to http://prideinlondon.org

Pride Life is the official publisher of the Pride in London 2017 souvenir guide