This year because I’m living in Amsterdam I was fortunate enough to attend Europride. My friends and I really just wanted an excuse to get covered in glitter, have outrageous makeup and join the party, which we did. The parade was absolutely incredible! Huge floats travelled down the canals in Amsterdam with amazing displays on them and hundreds of people dancing and partying. The floats were so outrageous there was everything from a giant cat to dancing drag queens and there was even a giant unicorn exploding pink glitter onto the crowd, all with the gorgeous backdrop of Amsterdam’s higgledy piggledy houses.
But Europride this year was so much more than that, it was so much more than just a gay pride festival, it really felt like everyone was uniting against any form of discrimination. So soon after the attack in Orlando it was clearly so important for people to unite and celebrate pride at this festival and you could see that everywhere. No matter what sexuality, race or religion anyone was everyone came together for one day to support each other. The whole feel of the celebration was happiness and strength, not only because people were drunk and partying, but because the city was absolutely packed full of people just celebrating love and showing were stronger together. I believe it is so important to come together and unite in such tragic times and every single person at Europride did just that.
In the run up to the festival there was a lot of fear about the parade and whether it was going to attract any abuse or attacks, extra security was put on and there was a strong police presence. But in the end the whole day was just people coming together to show support and celebrate love. One lady was walking around with a handmade sign around her neck saying that she was from “Uganda gay” and she was raising money, people were so proud of her and happy for her that they were all hugging her and kissing her, it was so lovely to see such genuine acts of kindness everywhere in the city. I’m so happy to say I was a part of Europride 16.