LGBT pride (noun)

1. a sense of strong self-esteem associated with a person’s public acknowledgement of their homosexuality

Every year, Leeds Pride just seems to be getting bigger and better. 2017 is home to a generation with the knowledge and acceptance of everyone, which makes for perfect participations in this celebration of love, unity, diversity and togetherness, and what a treat it was.

The weekend just gone marks the 11th annual Leeds Pride, which blessed our streets with 40,000 big, bold and beautiful faces spreading happiness and colour all over the city centre. The many events that took place from Friday to Sunday were just as diverse as the residents in our city, providing a way for every single person to join in and celebrate as one.

We saw the likes of Live Art Bistro hosting a Queer Film Festival on Friday, the Corn Exchange who was host to a LGBT theatre performance entitled ‘If The Girls Start Moving – The Boys Will Join In’ on Saturday, to Lambert’s Yard who made a quiet indoor space for older LGBTQA+ people to celebrate on Sunday.
The parade, the main event that people get dressed up for certainly didn’t disappoint! With a longer route this year, we got to see a mass of people in unity – cheering, laughing and just enjoying themselves. It is moments like this, filled with overpowering love and colour, that make you forget the hate in the world.

The fun didn’t stop there – with an all-day street party at Viaduct Showbar on Saturday, followed by the Parade stage at Millennium Square and Lower Briggate on Sunday, which was then followed by an after party at Mission…. It is fair to say that Leeds had its dance shoes on. We expect to still be seeing remnants of glitter on the streets as a result of this for the next week or so, which is a sweet, sparkling reminder of a fabulous weekend.

In Leeds, we pride ourselves on being a strong and diverse community, so this event where we get to celebrate our differences got our hearts beating louder than ever. It is fair to say that Leeds Pride 2017 will definitely not  be forgotten and will remain in the hearts and minds of those attending until next year.

Photography by Tatiana Hepplewhite