York Pride 2016 was less than a week after the horrific events in Orlando.

The day started outside York Minster, where a HUGE crowd gathered,far more than in previous years, and after blessings from Ministers, a minute's silence was held to honour those killed in Orlando, followed by the release of 49 white balloons as bridge over troubled water was played by a brass band.

The Parade then got under underway to a huge cheer, and set off on the 2.4 mile march to the Knavesmire, with streets adorned by the public waving us on, and pride flags wafting in the breeze from buildings, the parade itself stretched out almost half a mile, it was THAT big, Bishy Road gets a special mention, that street welcomes us warmly every year, but this year it seemed like every single household was cheering us along and plenty playing well known LGBT songs for us too, i had tears streaming down my face along Bishy Road.

Onto the Knavesmire and the crowd just grew and grew, far and away the largest attendence York Pride has seen, from children through to pensioners and every last person enjoying the great afternoon. The entertainment was great, lie acts performing, fairground rides, people dancing and the overwhelming message of solidarity, togetherness and PRIDE.

There were people of every sexual orientation and gender, allies, friends the lot.

York Pride continues to be a free event, due to generous sponsors, lots of fundraisers and of course the £5 wristbands (if your own pride sells wristbands, buy them, they fund your event). The weather this stayed kind to us, last year it rained for half of it, the entertainment was top class, and if i have just complaint, it's that it was all over too quickly, yes time does fly when you're having fun.

And so to the after-party, at Thomas's, jam packed until the very early hours, amazing atmosphere and it just rounded off an incredible day where we remembered those we have lost, we stood in unity with Orlando, we looked at how far we have come since 1967, and look at what we still have to do, and we had one hell of a party.

Roll on York Pride 2017, and thank you to each and every one of the organising team for this year's spectacular event, let's make next year even bigger.

My Thoughts On York Pride 2016

Lisa Kelly

Transgender/LGBT activist
AGE: 49
EMAIL: akakelly69da@gmail.com