We gather today to farewell Pride. Let us take time to reflect on the Pride we knew.
Pride was everything: our beloved, gender-neutral, inclusive, poly forebear. Pride, the upstart, came out to London in the early 70s, during a social climate in dire need of challenging. GLF UK and Stonewall demonstrations sparked LGBTQI activism and Pride became a London revolutionary.
Pride was our identity.
Pride’s inaugural 1000-strong march in 1972 was a rally against society’s mistreatment of queers. Queer solidarity grew and our family fought long and hard with Pride, for civil liberty and equality. Through the 70s and 80s, Pride matured as a politically active, grassroots homo.
Pride had value.
Pride was transient and knew many identities and residences over the years. Pride had homes at Clapham Common, Hyde, Brockwell, Kennington and Finsbury Parks to name but some. In these places and on marches, human rights were repeatedly demanded for the queer community, and for the broad global spectrum of repressed minority groups.
Pride was political.
Pride’s wayward streak began to show some years back. But by the end of the naughties, Pride’s whorish reputation was known world-wide and Pride became adrift from the community. Pride sold out to grubby banking institutions and a posse of corporations on a marketing drive. Pride’s disenfranchised LGBTQI family are now relegated to the parade’s belly and beyond (aka C-section). Homos and their supporters are expected to compliantly toddle along behind corporate bullies. Our Pride is gone.
So it is with great sadness that we bury Pride this day and scatter Pride’s ashes across the stomping grounds of Pride’s past.