A pared down version of London’s gay World Pride event has taken place without the traditional floats. Organisers said about 25,000 people took part in the march through central London. There was a party in Trafalgar Square with performances from Boy George and R&B singer Deborah Cox.
Due to a funding shortage, the event did not include floats or a party in Soho. It is the 41st year there has been a gay pride march in London. The procession started from Baker Street and followed the traditional route via Oxford Street and Regent Street to Whitehall.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who helped organise the first Gay Pride in Britain in 1972, said despite the setbacks surrounding this year’s event, there had been a great atmosphere. Pride London spokesman Uwern Jong said the procession was for the global advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. He said: “Forty-four members of the Commonwealth still criminalise homosexuality.”
Last week, Pride London, said it had been hard to secure money because of the economic climate. On Wednesday, Tony Hughes, a long-standing board member, was announced as the organisation’s new chairman, following the resignation of Patrick Williams.
“The rest of the board remains unchanged and committed to delivering an event London can be proud of.”
The hashtag #BorisSavePride had been created on Twitter to campaign for the mayor of London’s support. The mayor’s office has provided funding of £100,000 for the event. A spokesman said Boris Johnson would not be attending the event this year because of other commitments. However the money had already been pledged to support the LGBT community for the remaining period of 2012.