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Hundreds stop traffic for Forest Gate Pride parade

PUBLISHED: 11:32 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 02 July 2019

Forest Gate Pride. Picture: Laura Zotova.

Forest Gate Pride. Picture: Laura Zotova.

Laura Zotova

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets to show their pride in who they are for the annual Forest Gate Gay Pride March.

Forest Gate Pride. Picture: Laura Zotova.Forest Gate Pride. Picture: Laura Zotova.

Organisers estimate around 250 people shut down traffic on Forest Gate's main roads on Saturday, June 2.

Revellers were joined by Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz on the day. Ms Fiaz gave a speech at the end of the march in Woodgrange Market.

She pledged as mayor of to support the rights of the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ inclusive education.

Events like a 'playstreet' for LGBTQ and allied families and DJ sets surrounded the march over the weekend.

But the organisers wanted to make sure LGBTQ issues got enough time in the spotlight as well as the celebrations.

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"One thing that we feel very strongly about is that Pride should be regarded as a protest, not a party," said one of the organisers Dom Holmes before the events.

"We believe being out and proud is still a challenge we face even in the current climate."

Queer performer Alex Marlow at Queer Upbeat in the Gate Library. The event kicked-off Forest Gate Pride on Friday, June 28. The date marked 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, which began the modern Gay Pride movement. Picture: Laura Zotova.Queer performer Alex Marlow at Queer Upbeat in the Gate Library. The event kicked-off Forest Gate Pride on Friday, June 28. The date marked 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, which began the modern Gay Pride movement. Picture: Laura Zotova.

While the level of hate crime is growing more slowly in Newham than in other parts of the capital, it is still growing.

There were 74 hate crimes relating to sexual orientation in May this year, up 27 per cent from June 2015.

This year's Pride held extra significance.

Friday, June 28, 2019, marked 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York City that began the modern Gay Pride movement.

The four Forest Gate residents who make the borough's Pride possible (including Ms Holmes) are meeting this week to work on next year's event and how to keep it as inclusive as possible for Newham's LGBTQ community.

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