Hundreds stop traffic for Forest Gate Pride parade
- Credit: 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.
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.
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But the organisers wanted to make sure LGBTQ issues got enough time in the spotlight as well as the celebrations.
"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.
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"We believe being out and proud is still a challenge we face even in the current climate."
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.