Last Saturday, I got the train to Winchester for something other than crying over my dissertation!
It was the second annual Hampshire Pride and this year, it was even bigger and better!
Hampshire Pride is a festival celebrating LGBTQIAP+ identities and championing equality and diversity in and around Hampshire. It is an event run by Hampshire LGBT Alliance which includes Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Hampshire Constabulary, Solent NHS Trust and the University of Winchester.
The day kicked off on campus at the University of Winchester with speeches from Co-coordinator Sarah-Louise Collins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Stuart (who is also the university’s senior diversity champion) and renowned teen vlogger and public speaker about trans issues, Hannah Phillips. All shared some really motivational and powerful words with a crowd of very excited and inspired people and there was a short film shown that was made on campus called ‘What is Love?’.
Next we all assembled outside on the steps for a lovely photograph in which you can really see how the Pride parade has grown in a year. Just look at the numbers!
The march left campus and a sea of rainbow flags, hair colours and clothes walked through Winchester singing, chanting and blowing whistles. There were families and pets, partners and friends all in unison and you could sense the love and kindness in everyone’s hearts as they walked. Some of the shops had put colourful displays and Pride flags up in their windows to show their support which was really lovely!
Here’s what I wore, it was uhh… interesting.
(Note, I am not a fashion blogger. I’ve linked to the product or similar but most is old stuff and out of stock!)
We finished at the Discovery Centre in town where there was a Market with stalls from various local Hampshire groups and charities raising money and awareness of services. After a welcoming speech from Councillor Roy Perry and an entertaining excerpt from How To Love read by author Sally Edwards, everyone had a little boogie and a heartwarming moment as the Southampton Gay Men’s Chorus performed a few tracks. There was also an incredible performance by the Wessex Dance Academy and refreshments outside courtesy of mobile baristas Coffee Cruiser and The Pie Hole, Southampton.
That evening, my friends and I went to The Railway Inn for the Afterparty and we were not disappointed! I opted for something a little classier, which you can see here:
Upstairs we watched a Cabaret show compered by the glamourous and funny Spotlight Vocal Duo and we were treated to performances from catty and sparkly Portsmouth drag queen Cherry Liquor, comedian and lip synch maestro Harold and melodic rapper and singer Paul Andreas.
My absolute favourite performance came at the end of the night in the form of London drag king, Adam All. Adam is a metrosexual cheeky chap with a really impressive array of suits, beatboxing skills and some hilarious musical numbers. Oh, and some rather impressive abs. I managed to get a chat to his parents as they were sat next to us and ‘hadn’t been allowed’ to go to show before (its a bit rude) and I was pleased to see them supporting, taking pictures and cheering him on in the front row. He’s definitely a new celeb crush of mine and he was featured in BBC Newsbeat’s documentary ‘Drag Kings of the UK’ which you can watch here.
After the Cabaret finished, we went downstairs where local student DJ George Nott kept us dancing til the early hours with some camp classics and chart toppers. We had so much fun and it was such a great day to celebrate being who you are with other friendly people!
Have you been to a Pride event before?
Were you at Hampshire Pride?
Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.
If you liked this post, you should check out:
Why I Never Really ‘Came Out’ – I talk about being pansexual and my experiences
Queer Bloggers Network – Jess, Zoe and I have started a community to share content and support those with LGBTQIAP+ identities in the creative industry
My Queerness Erased – A piece I wrote for Zusterschap about ‘straight passing’ and my queer identity