After two years of Covid-induced cancellations and live streams, Pride in London is coming back as an epic in-person event this year. And because it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, it’s made the entirely fitting decision to retrace the route of the historic inaugural 1972 Pride march.
Pride in London takes place this year on July 2 and the parade will begin at Hyde Park, where the first post-march picnic took place in 1972. From Hyde Park Corner, it will wend its way down Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus, before turning south onto Haymarket and Trafalgar Square.
The 1972 march ended at Trafalgar Square, but this year’s parade will continue just a little further to Whitehall Place. See a handy map of the 2022 route below.
Pride in London says the 2022 parade will welcome 40,000 marchers and more than 400 community groups. ‘For 50 years, Pride has been a visible cultural protest that brings the LGBT+ community and its allies together in solidarity,’ said Christopher Joell-Deshields, executive director of Pride in London. ‘It is important to recognise the activists who were brave enough to come out in 1972 to march for our liberation and pave the way for the rights we enjoy today. Early organisers took inspiration from the US civil rights group, the Black Panthers, a reminder that despite their differences there was a collective fight for the oppressed.’
‘As we prepare for one of the most momentous LGBT+ pride events in the UK’s history, we are committed to delivering a pride that represents our entire community, including those that have been underrepresented,’ Joell-Deshields added.
This year’s event will also see Pride in London seek to restore its reputation following accusations of racism within its ranks. In February, Pride in London clarified its relationship with UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQ+ people. ‘We are not in partnership with UK Black Pride but would very much like to be,’ Pride in London said in a statement.
Joell-Deshields added at the time: ‘As we rebuild trust with UK Black Pride and the communities they represent, it is important that our engagement is authentic. It’s personal to me as a Black gay man and a member of the Black LGBT+ community that our relationship is anchored in our values of visibility, unity and equality.’