Brighton Pride 2016! ♥

If you're familiar with Brighton, you'll know exactly what the first weekend of August means for the people of Brighton each and every year.. Yep, it's PRIDE weekend!

Its the yearly event which celebrates the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community and, let me tell you; it's one hell of a party! The entire city comes together in the most outrageous, colourful and flamboyant ways. Nothing- and I mean nothing is too "out there." You'll see sequins, feather bowers, stilettos, skimpy swimwear, drag, nudity, elaborate headgear, bubbles, and a rainbow theme which runs all the way through the city. What's not to love about it?

Pride weekend is like the city's way of saying "screw you" to the homophobes and the haters. It's about acceptance. It's about being one community, regardless of our differences. The fight for equality and the celebration of love.

For as long as I can remember, Pride weekend has been my absolute favourite event. Having grown up in Brighton and being the true "Brightonian" that I am, it's an event that I have attended every year and quite frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't attend on a yearly basis. Not only does the event bring our city together, it brings hundreds upon thousands of people from all over, to spend the weekend in our wonderful city. It brings the biggest buzz to our streets and it truly creates a sense of unity, even if just for one weekend.

Before becoming a mum, Pride would probably mean partying from Friday night right through until Sunday morning. My diet over the weekend would mostly  consist of warm cans of beer and a few rollies. But it was SO MUCH BLOODY FUN. However, with my son now in tow, I tend to watch the parade whilst smothering us both in suncream and making sure we're topped up on H20- such a mum, I know.

I can't say there's anywhere I would rather be on the first weekend of August, than be squashed amongst the cheerful, neon crowds of Brighton. With thousands upon thousands of people jam packed into our relatively small city, it's certain that we're a diverse crowd. From fairy wings to leather suits, sailors to butlers in the buff- you name it, Pride's got it! What's special is that, amongst our differences, we all share one thing in common: and that's our pride. We're proud of our differences, our sexuality,  our fancy dress efforts; we're proud to be able to express ourselves in any way we like and we're definitely proud of our city.

 Known to most as "the gay capital", Brighton is truly one of a kind. It's a place to celebrate difference and appreciate originality; from fashion statements to family dynamics, culture to art,we're a city of a thousand different approaches. Anything goes in Brighton. With it's quirky vibe and bohemian spirit, it's a city that is truly open to individuality. An open minded, cosmopolitan city which takes the word "equality" and turns it into a huge multi-coloured party! All weekend!

However,  I'll be honest- this year- I had my reservations about attending. For the first time in my life, I actually considered not going. And do you know why?

I was frightened.

I'd been hearing about threats of a terrorist attack and I'd been thinking about those poor people who lost their lives in Orlando recently, and I'll be honest- I was worried for Brighton. It's messed up that I even had to consider something like that happening in my beautiful home-town but, sadly, this is the world we seem to be living in right now.

It blows my mind that in 2016, we still live amongst those who cannot accept diversity; those who are intolerant of change and individuality. That in some countries, same sex marriage is still not legal. It's unbelievable.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide whether I should stay away from the crowds and if I should simply not risk mine or my son's safety. But do you know what? I made my decision to go anyway. And my decision was based on this:

This world is a scary place right now, full of hate, violence and far too much loss.  But this hatred is  a minority. And if there's any way to make a change and take a step forward with this world;it's with the power of equality. If there's one thing that can restore my faith in humanity, it's Brighton Pride. It's what I believe in; freedom. The chance for us all to live however we wish to live, happily, without judgment. And I won't let fear stop me from standing up for what I believe in. Because that's exactly what they want. They want to spread fear and they want us to back down. As a generation, we've come on leaps and bounds to promote and achieve equal rights and liberty. And despite the awful acts of terror taking place in our world, I'm proud to be raising my son in such an accepting generation. I have wanted him to witness Pride weekend, right from when he was a baby, because it sends out such a bold and brilliant message; that love is a human right. That we should not be afraid to be who we are and to be PROUD of what makes us different.

"Despite the advances of equality and equal marriage in the UK, the recent horrific event in Orlando and continuing attacks on LGBT people and communities globally have highlighted there's still a long way to go.
"Brighton Pride 2016 will be more important that ever and I ask all allies and friends of the LGBT community to come out and stand shoulder to shoulder with friends and family to stand up against all hate crime."  (BBC News)

This is why I adore this event so much, it sets an example- and a bloody brilliant one, too. In a world which seems to be so full of anger and disappointment, this festival brings nothing but love, love and more love (plus a sprinkle of glitter ♥)

And so, we joined the crowd today and we waved our rainbow flags for the people of Brighton. And for the hope of global harmony one day. To eliminate discrimination for good. And what we witnessed was the true strength and spirit of a brilliant community. No fear overtaking our lives, not backing down from what's right and fair. Just like every year, the people of Brighton Pride made me thankful for the place I get to call my home.

 Happy pride everyone!

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