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London Gay Pride – By Darrell Hirst

london pride

The papers said that there were a million people who flocked to the capital to help celebrate this year’s London Gay Pride. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous, which encouraged more cuties and muscle boys to show off all they had, boriswhich let’s face it, is what Pride is all about? Well, perhaps not the only thing. This year the event was also celebrating 40 years of the Gay Liberation Front, the organization that brought the concept of Pride to the UK. We’ve come a long way since those early political marches, when angry gay men, lesbians et al took to the streets of the capital to make sure that, 40 years on, a gay chap can kiss another in public and others can flaunt their sexuality in any way they feel they want to. Leathermen, marching dykes, colourful floats, union flags, police, servicemen… you name it, 40 years on, nearly everyone is represented in aIMG_0339Pride march. Now more party than political (even though Mayor Boris Johnson led the parade), it’s always heartwarming to see so many people out… and OUT to celebrate. The entertainment took over Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Soho’s famously bender-heavy streets… perhaps the only thing lacking was a huge glossy star name to centre the event. Nonetheless, it was a terrific occasion that passed off relatively trouble free and any accolades going should go to the organizing committee for making the centre of our capital, the centre of gaydom, even if it is for only one huge and spectacular day.

See You Next Year! July 2nd 2011 Stay connected at

GMFA at Pride web

The great giveaway

Volunteers from GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, were out in force at Pride London on Saturday. The charity gave out around 3,000 free condoms and lube in specially designed ‘Ride Safely’ travelcard wallets to the thousands of revellers along the parade route, as well as on the stall in Trafalgar Square. Around 50 volunteers, kitted out in funky T-shirts, marched with placards emblazoned with safer sex messages. 

Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, commented: “The day was full of the fun and celebration we’ve come to expect from Pride. We want to help men stay safe, so we’re delighted that so many were eager to get their hands on our supply of condoms and lube.”
Volunteer or donate at


The four-star deluxe Park Plaza Riverbank London is a chic, contemporary hotel situated on the south side of the River Thames. The hotel overlooks the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and The London Eye and is located directly across the River from the Tate Britain. Close by is the Oval Cricket Ground, the London Aquarium and the Imperial War Museum, making this a great location for sight-seeing.

All 394 rooms at Park Plaza Riverbank London are en-suite with separate bath and shower, air-conditioning, TV with on demand movies and music channels, wireless internet access, laptop safe, work desk, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, mini-bar and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel offers a beautifully designed Brassiere serving European cuisine as well as 24 hour room service.

Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel London
18 Albert Embankment
Tel: 020 7769 2415

Weekend prices start from £109 per room per night (room only; excludes VAT)
Mid-week prices start from £149 per room per night (room only; excludes VAT)

Chino Latino is an award winning restaurant that serves Pan-Asian fare and Latin cocktails. It is regarded as  leading Pan-Asian brand throughout the UK and Europe and is critically acclaimed for its impressive cuisine, creative presentation and contemporary décor.

Chino Latino Modern Pan-Asian Cuisine & Cocktail Bar
Tel: 020 7769 2500

Award winning restaurant Canteen is open from 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 9am-11pm Saturday to Sunday, offering an all day menu offering total dining flexibility. Most importantly everything that features on the Canteen menu is made in the kitchen that day with ingredients that have been ethically sourced from the best possible supplier.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Rd
Tel: 0845 686 1122

Fire (After Pride Party hosts)
South Lambeth Road