I moved to London in 1989, fresh faced and straight out of University. I attended my first PRIDE festival in 1990, slightly bemused and wondering if my Mum would see me on the BBC News.
Little did I know that 3 years later I would be leading the march off, pushing a friend in a wheelchair and being told to slow down as we were going too fast. That year I hoped to be on the BBC News, it was to be my friend last PRIDE festival, and he passed away the following year from AIDS.
In those days PRIDE was about visibility, validation, and recognition. It was about fighting for justice and for equality. PRIDE also made you realise that we were a strong community. We sometimes forget that we live in a London bubble, and this community is very important to those that may not be as fortunate as we are.
33 years on, for me PRIDE celebrates the distance we have come, the wider acceptance that we have achieved and is a time to remember those we have lost. PRIDE continues to be about equality, for Trans, for Non-binary, for Queers and for every one of us that makes up a colourful pillar of our community.
PRIDE is, and has always been, about Love. The Love we have for ourselves, our partners, and the love we have for one another.