On the 25th June 2016 I walked in my first London Pride parade alongside others from my company at the time. Just in front of us were a small group of people, some of them body painted as various super heroes. After a couple of hours of waiting (we were RIGHT at the back in row G) we got to talking and it turned out we had a lot in common, these wonderful people were the start of what is now a 1000+ member strong group called the LDN Gaymers. They hold quiz nights, convention trips, cinema meet ups, and loads of other awesome events and days out.
Following the event a few adds were made on Facebook and I requested to be accepted into their group. I’ve since visited a couple of conventions with them, but mostly shared geeky chat online. Living a little outside of London, and having been working way out in the sticks, I don’t visit often so I’ve missed out on a lot of their events due to time, travel, and general anxiety about going out with a bunch of new people. But when Pride came around again and I volunteered for a body painting slot with them, I would never have thought I could have had such an amazing day.
Thank you SO much to everyone that chatted with me, danced with me, cheered me from the crowd, complimented our body paint, and mostly to the Gaymers that made me feel so so welcome, I made some friends for life today and I cannot wait to spend more time with you all in the future. If you want to be a part of this amazing community head over to their website for their events and social media platforms by clicking the rainbow >>>>>
I wanted to share a day in the life of Pride so I recorded a quick timeline throughout the day:
04:30 I can’t sleep, fml.
05:30 Making pancakes, stay awake Roxanne, stay awake!
06:55 On my train into town. People are looking at my trident like I’m some sort of freak but inhabitations don’t live here sorry.
07:45 Met up with the fellow body paintees (what?) and head over to Trafalgar Sq at 08:00. I’m sleepy.
09:15 Bit of a delay getting in to the square, check my nipple pasties are crease free and begin painting with Mat from SeventaImage.
09:50 First layer of paint done! My body paint buddy Peter aka Cyclops begins his first layer and I take multiple selfies. I’m walking around London with nothing but shorts on, why can’t life always be like this?
11:00 Mera, queen of the sea, is ready to part the parade crowds.
12:00 Mera, Lady Deadpool, Nightwing, Venom, Thor, NorthStar, Cap America, D.Va, and Robin take the tube (thank you to Adam for letting me use your card to get on the train!) to our parade slot (zone B this time) fellow travellers display a mixture of emotion. We discover that just wearing pants and body paint does not make the tube any cooler, we laugh A LOT.
12:30 We join dozens of other LDN Gaymers already waiting in the cramped space next to St Johns Ambulance who kindly let Cap America sit in the van. Selfie with Kristoff, who I met as Aquaman last year!
13:00 No sign of movement, a lot of body paint is sweating off, we’re sharing water, and other more fun beverages and using the bus in front of us to hide from the sun.
13:40 We’re moving! YAY, crowds are awesome. Me and Venom are trying not to swap paint as a black smudge appears on my arm.
14:05 I see a child holding up a ‘We love you all’ rainbow sign smiling her absolute face off and I tear up (waterworks pt1). I hear a guy in the crowd say ‘Oh she has her boobs out’, ‘Yes I do!’ I reply, some people nearby cheer. I had forgotten they were even out, honestly this should be okay all the time. Can the Pride parade be every day?
14:08 I look around our group of marchers and read the signs we had voted on. The one above ‘Play With Pride’, along with, ‘Looking for Player 2?’ and ‘Equality is not a game’. (waterworks pt2- I’m an emotional bitch okay?)
14:15 Group Admin Yusif spots me and asks if I’m okay, I nod, I feel so at home with this group of people, I hold back waterworks pt3.
14:45 I start seeing people I know in the crowds and selfies commence.
15:05 A group of Muslim Pride Goers in the crowd with ‘Muslims for Gays’, ‘Allah loves all’ signs walk by us… waterworks pt3
15:12 Several good Pride sausage doggos are in the crowd getting so many strokes. I chat with Nightcrawler.
15:30 Parade over for us! We’re hot and sweaty, hungry, and needing to pee, we head to our picnic spot where some fellow Gaymers have been looking after our bags (THANK YOU!)
16:00 After replenishing and peeing, the speakers are blaring out Disney tunes. Kristoff aka Wonder (Wo)Man comes and chats to me with Aaron (who I happened to walk with in our company group last year!)
17:00 Those two go off to find Tesco and Northstar aka Adam comes to sit with me. He goes off to get some cider and I talk to the Babadook. Thor and Cap are up a tree.
18:00 Me and Adam chat about life. I feel so welcomed into their little community, we start getting through the ciders and geek out with Lorenzo over our weaboo anime faves.
19:17 A slightly drunken Adam F aka Rinzler manages to explode yoghurt all over us and I laugh as I keep finding it around my person. We try to remove Adam’s body paint. A few follow suit. Crash Bandicoot is burned, everyone is now finding tan lines, there are lots of colourful make up wipes around.
19:45 I head home to order pizza. London is BUZZING. Music is playing, there are bongos somewhere, the streets are being swept (no bins due to bomb safety!), people are singing, lots of rainbows flying. I feel my ice cold heart melting into a pool of fuzz.
21:00 I take off my nipple covers and manage to tear some skin (OUCH) before showering off (apparently not very much) of my greenness, until next time Mera. Eat pizza, play some Crash.
22:00 Well and truly KOd. Until next year Pride.
Group photo by Ronnie Aka-Haroun
BodyPaints sponsored by @mehronuk #mehronuk for @londonlgbtpride
See my blog following last years pride about being Bisexual and why I feel there needs to be more sexual orientation education at schools. ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, And Some of Us Are Bisexual’