I Went to Pride!

I have honestly had one of the best days of my life – I’m still smiling and I feel unbelievably happy. Why? Because I went to my FIRST EVER PRIDE!!! (Okay Elm CALM)

Yesterday, Ivy (one of my best friends ever) and I organised a trip to London. We needed to buy French books – or well, we wanted to – and she’d found this really cute little European bookshop that sold so many books in different languages (Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and obviously French). We just decided to go and find it, by taking a bus and a train and searching around the surrounding streets.

We found it, and it was so so nice! The street it was on was so pretty and picturesque (so I was told) and then we spent ages in the shop. It was quiet, peaceful and amazing and is just the kind of little place that makes London so beautiful. After we left, we got something to eat and sat in this random covered walkway and chatted.

It was whilst we were sitting there that we talked about Pride. Both she and I wanted to go, but there was a little fear of anything happening that would be dangerous, due to the recent Orlando shootings. Because we’re spontaneous and we wanted to see what it was like, we hopped on a train (okay no, we just got on whilst being a bit nervous) to Piccadilly Circus.

God, I can’t even describe to you how I felt when we stepped off that tube and there was just noise as we entered the station proper. “ALL PEOPLE GOING TO THE PARADE, USE EXIT 4!” The nervousness and excitement was mounting and I had to breathe deeply to try and calm myself. We got out of the station, heard the music and cheering and whistles and then we were at Pride and it was beautiful.

I never quite understood the sentiment that you could get so emotional that it became overwhelming, but that’s EXACTLY how it felt in the first few minutes. The sun was shining and we were just walking through crowds, going back and forth through different streets. There were so many people, wearing “I Am Gay” t-shirts, signs that said “Love wins!” “Love is united!” and confetti and balloons and just INSANITY.

Ivy described it all to me. There were couples holding hands, kissing, and random people with rainbow dreadlocks wandering down the streets. The windows of shops and the archways were FULL of rainbows, Pride flags, music played from pretty much everywhere and all the people seemed to be talking and laughing. “I SAY LONDON, YOU SAY PRIDE!” was the highlight of when we actually got involved in crowds.

There were some streets that were quiet, and some that were so crowded that I couldn’t get my cane out and walk because I’d hit people. I kept shrieking “SORRY!” whilst holding Ivy’s arm, and cheering at random points throughout the times when different busses were going past.

We were going to meet Ivy’s friends on a whim, but that didn’t happen. We spent ages trying to find them, wandering up and down from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and back, and THEN it started raining. It didn’t quell the atmosphere, though; people were still clapping and cheering and throwing balloons.

I bought a rainbow Sash, wore it and took pictures which I then put on Facebook. It’s the first time I’ve more or less publicly declared I’m not straight. It felt so bloody freeing because I was wearing something with a rainbow on it, surrounded by crowds of people who were PROUD to be who they were.

The highlight of it was definitely having Ivy there. We were in London, at Pride which we hadn’t planned, properly enjoying ourselves and smiling. I loved it and I’m going next year, and nothing can damn well stop me.

I’m so happy, because my dad called me up before we went and basically told us we should. I said I was scared and he just said, “You should go, Elm.” He was proud of me for going and that’s the main thing that convinced me I COULD do this. He didn’t even bat an eyelid and was so so happy when I called him, through cheering crowds and yelled, “I’m at Pride, dad!”

Even my mum didn’t kick up a fuss when she saw it on Facebook. To be honest, even if she had, I wouldn’t have cared. I don’t think anything could ruin this day for me.

Fear didn’t stop people from having a good time. It didn’t stop us from smiling and from feeling we were part of something. We knew no one around us, but that was so good; we were people in a crowd of those who wanted to be there.

I’m proud to be part of the community. I’m proud that I had the confidence to just go to Pride because I FELT like that. I felt so incredibly comfortable with Ivy beside me, because we were just being us and revelling in the fact that WE WERE AT PRIDE, spontaneously.

Today was brilliant. Today was happiness, and freedom, and two girls’ unplanned journey into a world of loud music and amazingly happy people. Today was a leap into the new, and a day that started off with books and ended with a smile.

Today was Pride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unplanned or not, today was being proud of who we are.

From Elm πŸ™‚

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72 thoughts on “I Went to Pride!

  1. Oh my god, Elm! I am so happy for you!! This is amazing, and you truly sound like you had a lot of fun. This is probably an ASTOUNDING experience, and I’m so happy you could go, so you could write like this!

    Keep being the special person you are!
    Love,
    Aditi

    • Aww I’ll do my best! I’m just so happy I went because I’ve had SUCH a good day and it has just brightened up my entire summer. It was truly an amazing experience πŸ™‚ Definitely going again!

      • What else are you doing this summer? That’s amazing, Elm!!! Even though I’ve literally never seen your face or heard your voice, the passion and excitement were jumping out of your words.

      • I REALLY want to go to America! And I’m going to Italy with a friend and her family and Thailand with my dad πŸ™‚

      • That’s so cool! I really want to visit London too. Ah, I wish my parents would let me travel outside of my own state with others–problems with being the child of strict parents. 😦

        But, I’m still very fortunate so I’m happy about that! In fact I wrote a post about this, because so many people in my grade don’t realize how blessed they are with the life they life.

        Love,
        Aditi

      • I’m definitely gonna read it because I feel the same. Maybe one day, you can visit here πŸ™‚ That’d be lovely.

  2. This makes me feel so happy, the fact that you got to go and had such a good time, sadly I won’t be able to go to my local Pride event in august because I’m going on holiday, though I hope some day we could go together, that would be fantastic! XD

  3. I am unbelievably proud of you, elm. Literally, I swear, you have more confidence than I’ll ever have, just for going, and for putting those photos up on Facebook, and for everything. I can’t imagine how positive an atmosphere it was there today, but I’m absolutely certain that you had a great tiem, and I’m so glad about ath: you deserve it.

  4. Oh my god! This is amazing! I’ve wanted to go for one since almost forever! I’m happy you had such an amazing time, just reading about this makes me feel so so happy!

    Good on you for going πŸ™‚

    • Aww thank you so much! It really was amazing; I had such fun and I’m going to go again next year. Do they have Pride where you are, or not?

      • Well, it’s not Pride exactly, but there’s this group called Queer Mumbai that has been holding a March since the past two years. But sadly it’s very, very low profile and unless you’re really looking online for details, you can’t really find it-It sucks. I wasn’t able to go this year but I’m definitely going next year!

  5. THAT’S AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! I want to go ta Pride too but can’t because there’s no pride here. Ugh! But anyways, I’m happy for you!

  6. I’m so happy you got to participate in Pride and that you enjoyed your day. You’ve been part of an astounding memory which is amazing!

    I was wondering if you had the name of the European bookstore by the way if possible? No worries if you can’t remember.

  7. This was such a great post and it was just so cheerful and happy sounding! It’s so nice that you had such a wonderful time and that you did something really spontaneous, I envy you for that as I have always just wanted to do something in the spur of the moment. πŸ™‚

    • It was so so fun – you should try spontaneously doing something! It’s udexpectedly fun! And YAY I had a great time πŸ™‚

      • I think I’m too scared to ever do anything spontaneous that’s the problem… I wish I had more courage and was more outgoing than I am. My friend is all for doing things in the moment so maybe one day when I’m with her we’ll do something spontaneous πŸ™‚ I hope so πŸ™‚

      • I’m sure you will, and you should write about it when you do! It’s kinda scary to do something spontaneously, but when you get the chance, go for it. Enjoy yourself πŸ™‚

  8. YOU GOT TO GO TO PRIDE THAT’S FABULOUS. I actually had a Guides thing which meant I couldn’t go, but it honestly made me so happy to see people with rainbow flags + t shirts wandering around central London. Definitely improved my post-Brexit foul mood. I really hope that I can go next year ack! (Who knows what the parent situation will be at that point eh.)

  9. Yay! So glad you had a good time and didn’t let the fear/hate from others prevent it from being awesome!

  10. I’ve never been to Pride before but I’ve always loved how united people are there! It’s like everyone suddenly comes together with the one common goal of being proud of themselves. And I was genuinely so happy to find out that 2 police officers proposed!

  11. Aww you sound so happyyyyyyy…

    Good for you. You are doing what makes you happy, and that is such an important part of peoples lives.

    James’s A stamp of approval.

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