Drag queens and kings help Hackney celebrate Pride
Dancing drag queens - and kings - joined Council staff and community groups to show there truly is a rainbow around Hackney with a spectacular show at this year’s Pride in London parade.
Hackney was out and proud at the event for the fourth year running, with 120 local people representing the borough, including the Mayor of Hackney and an amazing range of Hackney-based organisations.
The parade was held in central London on Saturday 7 July, with Hackney folk joining 30,000 other marchers supporting equality for LGBTQI+ communities in the UK and across the globe.
More than 20 performers from The Glory pub, in Haggerston, provided a colourful show atop the Council’s Hackney Pride 365 float alongside dancing and chanting from the rest of the contingent, which included representatives from St Joseph's Hospice; Homerton hospital; Project Indigo youth group; Fringe! Film Fest; Rainbow Grow; The Outside Project; Hackney Showroom; Hackney’s QTIPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Colour) group, Culture Device and Drag Syndrome.
The Hackney parade entry received a fantastic reception from the one million spectators on the day.
Jonny Woo, co-owner of the The Glory, said: "The Glory brought the performance and the party to Hackney Council's fantastic Pride in London float. With a fabulous Glory squad that mirrored Hackney's diversity and creativity. Curated by myself and John Sizzle, new drag stars like Freida Slaves joined young trans performers like Carmen Getit, drag kings like Don One and fashion faces including Princess Julia.”
John Sizzle, co-owner of The Glory, added: “It was so fantastic to see the joy on crowd’s faces as they joined in with big sing-a-longs to Wham, Whitney and Madonna! Despite reports of counter-productive protests holding back the start of the parade, The Glory along with their Hackney Council pals refused to let anything except love rain on their parade. Roll on next year."
Bringing Hackney to Pride, with one of the most inclusive and diverse contingents we amplified the message, that we as a borough march in solidarity, passionately challenging all forms of hate such as transphobia and homophobia, while celebrating and standing with the LGBTQI+ community both here and across the world.
The slogan for this year’s Pride in London event was #PrideMatters - looking at what Pride means to the people of London - the borough’s contingent wanted to pay tribute to the diversity of Hackney’s LGBTQI+ community, with representatives from a very wide range of organisations and backgrounds. The marchers wore I Love Hackney rainbow heart T-shirts, a powerful symbol of the borough’s commitment to LGBTQI+ equality and a celebration of diversity.
Dr Ronx Ikharia, a local resident who works as an emergency medicine doctor in the borough, said: "Pride is about thanking those before me, like Marsha P Johnson who paved the foundations for my freedom to exist as a black queer person. In return I aim to set a visible positive example to other LGBTQIA+ people by taking part in public events like this."
Otto Baxter, a performer with Drag Syndrome, added: "Pride was amazing, electrifying and it was really cool hanging out with other drag queens.”
There are many ways Hackney Council celebrates and supports the LGBTQI+ community. It launched Hackney Pride 365 in 2017, a year-round, community-led festival that celebrates the borough’s historic, diverse and boundary-breaking LGBTQI+ community. The parade entry was organised as part of this festival, view photos from the day on the Hackney Pride 365 Facebook.