A year ago I never would have thought I would be making this post, for many reasons. Firstly because COVID has taken most of the last two year's pride events, and secondly because me? at a trans pride event? in London? A weird thought. But I went, I saw, I soaked in the atmosphere, and now I'm here to share some pictures and tell you how it felt to be there.

How it felt to be there? Well the overwhelming feeling was surreal, a lot of it because of the aforementioned reasons, it's been two years since I've been to a pride event in person, and at least 15 months since I've been in a large crowd (let alone 7,500 people marching through London). But along with surreal it was absolutely magical, being surrounded by so many outwardly trans and queer people, I wanted to drink the atmosphere, there was such a sense of relief, of community, of shared joy mixed in with a little bit of grief. 

After the last 15 months of being very isolated from community, and of what feels like endless attacks on the trans people, being in that crowd of people all there for the same thing really put a lot of the transphobia we experience every day online into a bit of context, it felt so much smaller and less significant. Don't get me wrong it's still something that people shouldn't experience, and that needs to be addressed and actively fought against, but in this crowd of people I felt so much joy and fight to move forward that it made trans exclusionists just seem sad and petty in comparison. I felt like I could do anything I needed to be to be me,  fearless. It's also a reminder of how important work online is, I saw so many people I follow and interact with online, and without that strong sense of community, allyship, and work that goes on online I don't think this march would've been this big.

I'll be honest, I was expecting a counter protest, but apart from a few anti-maskers shouting slurs and empty threats of violence at the very start of the day (such fun) I didn't see any counter or negativity. The anti-makers also held up the start of the march but once we got started there was no stopping us... apart from when the samba band stopped for people to dance.

This pride was truly a protest, continuing as it started, of more than 7,000 trans people and allies marching through the streets of London to say enough is enough, to demand better for ourselves and each other. I don't exaggerate when I say that it is exhausting being a trans person in the UK, especially over the last 2 years, and this march was a welcome rest-bite for many, a reason to keep fighting, a reminder of how amazing the trans community really is. 

The only thing I regret (well more than one thing) is the fact that I only got 4 hours sleep the night before this so was a bit delirious and not really prepared to walk for two hours in the heat, and the fact that I couldn't get close enough to hear the speakers. I've heard they were amazing, but I'm not sure the organisers expected quite so many people to turn up and we didn't quite all fit in soho square.
So if you wanted to make it and weren't able to I hope I captured some of the atmosphere here for you, and that  this serves as a reminder that you are not alone, that not only is a better world possible but it's being actively fought for, and that this is a reminder of how important joy and rest are! There is community out there waiting for you when you're ready.

 I wish I could have bottled the feeling from this day to take a shot of every morning or whenever I feel a bit shaky and alone.
Thank you to the organisers of trans pride, thank you to everyone who showed up and took part, thank you to the samba band for making it even more joyous, to all the speakers even though I couldn't hear what you were saying. More of this please!
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