An amazing 30,000 people took part in the Pride parade yesterday in central London.
The Parade was lead by gay actor Sir Ian McKellen who marched with Stonewall, and together they set off from Baker Street, travelling along Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Pall Mall and down to Trafalgar Square before ending at Whitehall.
London Pride is a celebration that the whole capital can be proud of. It’s inspirational to see so many thousands of people not just celebrating everything we’ve achieved as a community but also continuing to fight for LGBT equality here in Britain and around the world.”
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive
With the incredible Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst then headlining the celebrations, with Sinitta, Heather Peace and Sam Bailey also joining in at the big stage at Trafagal Square, the event took over the capital.
This year’s theme was “#freedomto“, and participants were encouraged to send in “selfies” which could feature as advertisements on the Tube network, organisers said.
We have had a record number of attendees this year, with over 30 floats and 210 groups. The atmosphere has been amazing. The rain could not dampen the spirit, and people think it has been the best Pride.”
Michael Salter, chair of Pride in London
Last night Austria’s Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a score of 290 points. Ms Wurst performed a Bond-theme-like ballad – Rise Like a Phoenix, before an international audience 180 million people in 45 countries.
“This night is dedicated to anyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity, and we are unstoppable.”
In the run-up to the finals, Wurst received a transphobic backlash from some eastern European groups, calling for the Austrian entry to be withdrawn from Eurovision. However, last night Eurovision viewers were full of praise for Austrian entry.
Thousands of fans took to Twitter to praise the performer – tweeting in favour of Wurst’s set, and expressing their support for the performer.
Labelled by the media as “the bearded lady”, she has called the beard “a symbol of tolerance”.
“I wanted to show that you can achieve anything – you have to work hard and you have to believe in yourself. I think everybody should make their life fabulous because, it sounds so cheesy, but we just have one. And if you want to be a bearded lady then you are allowed to do that, because you’re not hurting anybody,”
Here are 5 things to know about wonderful diva…
- The singer was born in Gmunden, Austria, in 1988.
- Before taking up a drag persona, Conchita worked as a shop window decorator.
- In 2007 Neuwirth reached the final of the 2007 Austrian casting show Starmania.
- Conchita has been the subject of petitions to get her axed from the show, due to her drag queen occupation.
- Conchita first appeared in 2011, when she made it to the final of another reality show.