Portsmouth Pride celebrates Isle of Wight Pride
On 19th August, Portsmouth Pride volunteers attended Isle of Wight Pride - rescheduled after torrential weather stopped play in July.
The day started with a flight on hovercraft - bearing the new rainbow logo - from Portsmouth to Ryde.
After disembarking, we walked up the long hill in the sunshine to Ryde School, where the double decker bus was waiting (festooned in Pride flags). On boarding we were offered drinks, and joined Isle of Wight and other Pride volunteers, along with local councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox, on the open top deck. The bus set off along the closed roads of Ryde, with the parade travelling on foot behind it, led by Peter Tatchell (who called it "a real grass roots community Pride").
We waved as we passed people lining the parade route, along with those in restaurants and shops, and residents - and their dogs - watching from upstairs windows. It was fantastic to see the turnout, and to have a birds' eye view of the parade.
We disembarked to join the crowd as the parade streamed into the Pride Community Village in Eastern Gardens.
We enjoyed visiting the various community and charity stalls, getting our photo taken on Selfie Island (genius use of a roundabout), catching up with friends and chatting over lunch. Isle of Wight Pride was blessed with good weather - warm but breezy - and it was lovely to spend an afternoon right by Ryde seafront watching the acts, singing along, and even getting roped into the conga and group hokey cokey!
Utmost Elton entertained the crowds with singalong favourites on Saturday afternoon
Local legend Quivers gave a high energy performance, and paid tribute to the trans community: "We are not done until everyone is safe".
Fran, Portsmouth Pride Secretary said: "I had an amazing day at IoW Pride. From the point we arrived at the hover terminal in Southsea to the time I took it home, the whole IoW community showed their support for the LGBTQ+ community. The parade was a particular highlight seeing the crowds line the street, and all those protesting behind us, from the top of a double decker bus. Thanks so much to IoW Pride for inviting us to be part of it".
CP, Vice Chair of Portsmouth Pride said: "As our closest neighbours, we've been working with Isle of Wight Pride for a number of years now, sharing insights and ways to overcome challenges, and with the help of our mutual partners at Hover Travel we've been able to meet several times and travel to the IOW to meet the team and of course represent Portsmouth Pride in their parade. As we head towards our bid to host UK Pride in 2025, visiting other Prides across the country, networking, learning, and sharing is vital to us - so thank you to Andy, Sarah and the whole team at IOW Pride for inviting us to come and be part of your amazing weekend".
By Abi Tuddenham (She/Her)
Volunteer Copywriter, Portsmouth Pride