The city came out in force to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bristol Pride.
Thousands of people flooded the street of the English city on 13 July 2019 despite the threat of rain from the clouds above.
Unlike some of the larger Prides across the UK, anyone can join the march. Meaning alongside the occasional corporate float, the parade felt much more political – with everyone from trans rights witches to fighters of bi-erasure leading the charge.
The parade began in midtown, before heading through the city center and ending at Canon’s March. The whole thing took an hour.
Good news for people celebrating Pride as there were no disruption from anti-trans groups. There were religious protesters at the march, though the crowd drowned out their calls of ‘unnatural’ with ease.
But after the parade, celebrations continue around the city with several different after parties. Mel C will be at The Downs with London-based drag collective Sink the Pink. Sophie Ellis-Bextor will also be performing.
While this is the tenth anniversary of the current iteration of Bristol Pride, the first march actually took place in 1977. The organizers also wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the beginnings of the LGBTI rights movement.
Witches and migrants
People kept the political message at its heart. One of those were the Queer Witches for Trans Liberation – two flat mates combining environmentalism, anti-capitalism, and the need for trans rights.
Emma, 38, from Bristol, and Kieran, 31, spoke to us at the parade.
Emma told Gay Star News: ‘We just want trans people to be free. Just for it not to be an issue anymore. Not acceptance, not tolerance – liberation and freedom.’
When asked what message they want to send out for Pride, Kieran said: ‘The intersectionality between caring about the environment, nature and other people. We’re also all wearing black as we’re protesting rainbow capitalism.
‘There’s a lot of banks here today, supermarkets giving away plastic bags with rainbows on, which is really bad for the environment.’
The Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants also came out in force and were collecting at the end of the parade.
We spoke to Josh, 26, who told us the message they wanted to send out this Pride: ‘We’re standing in solidarity with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers – anyone who’s facing attacks by the home office under the hostile environment policy. In the spirit of lesbian and gays supporting the miners strikes in the 80s.
‘It’s important that queer people of all types stand in solidarity with those who’ve been oppressed in very similar ways to the ways we faced oppression over the years.
‘So today we’re raising money for Pride Without Borders. They are a group of queer refugees and asylum seekers who offer peer support and practical support to one another.’
Despite the angry Christian corner and the strong political tones, the main message was of solidarity in the LGBTI community. Thousands of people wore their flags – rainbow, trans, pansexual – and marched together as one community.
Also, loads of incredibly good dogs.