After the last year of political ups and downs it’s time to remember, celebrate and rejoice in all things Pride. This weekend an unexpected day trip proved to be a joyful eye opening experience.
This weekend I went to my first Pride event of the year by accident! Whilst visiting a relative in Holland she asked me and my partner “Fancy going to Utrecht Pride tomorrow?”. After thinking for …. Well we didn’t think and shouted “Yes!” Then went into a panic that we had not packed accordingly and how mean it was of her to spring this on us!
Now I know what you are thinking. Utrecht? Where is Utrecht? Well that’s what we thought! Nestled between The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is a beautiful little city with a population of about 345,000 making it the 4th largest city in the Netherlands.
For such a small city we didn’t expect much. WRONG! The parade was on the canal. Yes instead of horrible lorries lumbering down the street we were treated to over 50 boats and barges full of balloons, costumes and a fair amount of flesh gently floating past us!
The banks of the canal were bursting. The atmosphere amazing. We met some wonderful people with some wonderful stories to tell. People from all over the world and the locals could not have been more welcoming.
What really struck me was the diversity. People from all corner’s of the LGBTQ+ community. What used to be called Gay Pride is now just titled Pride. This is true of many cities all over the world but here in Utrecht it really did manifest itself into a melting pot of diversity.
I get stuck in the London Bubble. I love my city and love Pride London. It’s had its ups and downs over the years and could do with being a little less Soho central (come on Sediq give us a park to celebrate in!). But to come to this tiny city and witness one of the most unique celebrations I have seen really opened my eyes.
If you want to celebrate Pride this year then think outside the box. Go to a small town that’s holding their first Pride event. They need you!! This was Ultrechts 3rd year and it felt like it had been running for decades.
So happy Pride everyone. Let’s keep spreading the love