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Thousands celebrate Pride in Brighton after two-year hiatus | Pride

Written by Javed Iqbal

Thousands of people were expected to fill the streets of Brighton on Saturday to celebrate the return of one of Britain’s biggest Pride events.

The parade and concerts, headlined by Christina Aguilera to sold-out audiences on Saturday and Paloma Faith on Sunday, mark the return of the LGBTQ+ celebration for the first time in three years after the last two were canceled due to Covid.

The event, celebrating its 30th anniversary, was expected to attract as many as 300,000 people on Saturday.

The parade started at Hove Laws at 11.00 and wound through the city’s streets with rainbow flags. There were also people wearing yellow and blue flags and calling for peace in Ukraine.

Among them was the gay rights activist Peter TatchellWHO tweeted: “At @PrideBrighton in solidarity with #Ukraine against Russian aggression.”

He also spoke out against the Commonwealth, which he said is a “bastion of homophobia”, and called for “an end to the criminalization of LGBT people in 35 Commonwealth countries”.

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Aguilera, who also performed in Los Angeles Pride in June, are among dozens of acts who will take to the stage in Preston Park this weekend for We are Fabuloso.

Other cast members include Ella Henderson, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Björn Again and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars Tia Kofi and Bimini.

A spokesman for Brighton Pride said: “2022 will be a joyful commemoration of the brave trailblazers, champions and supporters who shaped the Pride movement in the city and helped us achieve the LGBT+ equality we all enjoy today.”

Brighton’s first Pride was held in 1973, but it did not return until 1991. It usually draws crowds of around 250,000. This weekend also marks the 50th anniversary of the town’s first march, organized by the Sussex Gay Liberation Front.

Paul Kemp, organizer of Pride, told the BBC: “It’s been a very long wait but we’re finally here. We’re very happy to be back.”

Past headliners at the event, which includes a community parade and village fete, have included Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue and, due to Covid, two canceled performances by Mariah Carey.

Peter Kyle, Labor MP for Hove and Portslade and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, tweeted: “That #BrightonPride the parade was amazing!”

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Javed Iqbal

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