07/07/12: This time last week, the gay community were incensed as this year’s Pride London (World Pride no less) was downsized to something resembling a village fete.
Bar owners and club promoters were in turmoil, as all of their best laid plans for street parties and other events had to be thrown out of the window. The GLA and Westminster Council cracked down on any outdoor activity in Soho, basically threatening business owners in the area with closures and license reviews if any fun at all was to be had outside of the venues.
Not to mention QX editors who were tearing their hair out, ripping up pages and waiting for new information on an event that was rapidly becoming a shambles.
But then, something magical happened. A slew of positive thinking and a hefty dollop of good ol’ Pride spirit prevailed and Suddenly Soho was the place to be!
Initially the police presence seemed a little too heavy handed, and some of those Westminster Council noise officers had faces like thunder and attitudes that made Vinegar Tits from Prisoner Cell Block H look like Glinda the Good Witch of the North. But, as soon as the LGBT community hit the West End, there was just no stopping the party!
Police posed for pictures with revellers and should be commended for their lightness of touch as the day progressed, whilst the street party that never was became one of the biggest and most enjoyable impromptu shindigs that we’ve seen in Soho for some time!
The message here? We don’t need you to organise our fun, duckies, us homos will make our own thank you very much! From the hard bodied hunks of Profile, to the pop perfection of G-A-Y, the rammed courtyard of The Yard to the pumping strumpets of Ku Bar’s Frith and Lisle, from the plethora of hotties and big name DJs of Circa to the four-floored fabuliciousness of The Edge, via the flag-strewn delights and burly blokes at Comptons to the randy rumpshakers at Rupert Street – everyone should be ridiculously proud at the way the day unfolded.
The rain stayed away for long enough to provide an electric atmosphere, which made Soho once again the beating heart of London Town. Gays – you did yourselves proud!
Words by Lee ‘Sohocialising like a slag’ Dalloway
Photos by Chris ‘she’s everywhere’ Jepson