In the summer, there is always one big event that brings the hottest wave of excitement to the city of Leeds- Leeds LGBT Pride Festival. It comes at a time when cities around the world will celebrate LGBT Pride- a movement that looks to just celebrate the creation of you no matter what! Incase you are not familiar with what LGBT is, it is the abbreviation for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender”. At the end of the day, this is a huge party to celebrate the human right to equality and “true love”. In Leeds, this began in 2006, and since the Leeds pride parade attracts thousands of people from all over the UK every year. The whole city lights up in this beautiful shades of rainbows- from shops, to cafes to clothes and businesses. In my time at Leeds, I have honestly never seen as many people at one event before all celebrating a common goal, which shows its popularity.
As the tradition of the past years, the parade starts in the center of Leeds – Millennium Square at 2pm. However, if you plan to attend do not miss out on the party beforehand! This starts at 12pm. There are some huge and famous performances and the pre-celebration are all right in the center of the square. For me- everyone experiencing the same thing- the surroundings of music, dancing and the friendly spirit means you’re bound to have a great time! I did not manage to attend this pre-party this year, I missed it because I arrived right at 2pm and only participated in the parade. But the stories from friends gave me an instant regret- but I still had fantastic experiences that made my day.
So, starting from the Millennium Square we took the parade through the city to Lower Briggate. The roads were closed, groups from different organisations came and participated through the main road, loud music was blasting, performances were outstanding, some signs brought up thinking points… everyone in and around the parade wanted to play their part in the show. Even the rain (yes it started to rain in the middle of the parade) could not stop the high passion from the crowd. This form of free spirit and expression is something that I have never experienced in my home country, which is something that touched me the most about the event. People, regardless of gender, background, race and ages all dressed up to present the best of themselves. You can really learn from the confidence and bravery from everything happening around you. After the parade, there were final amazing performances in the Lower Briggate to end the day. If you are coming next year, please goooo and do not miss any of the event- you don’t want the feeling of regret that I have! This event will definitely make up a precious memory in your studnet life in Leeds.