Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Belfast Pride: Rainbows brighten city after downpours as Belfast streets filled with colour, glitter and attitude

The 2014 Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre this afternoon.
The 2014 Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye.

General view of the 2014 Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre this afternoon.

Thousands of people attended the annual Gay Pride parade in Belfast city centre.

Now in its 24th year, the Belfast parade is claimed to be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland.

The parade will left Custom House Square and make its way through the city centre.
General view of the 2014 Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre this afternoon.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 02-08-2014:  Thousands of people pictured attending the annual Gay Pride parade in Belfast city centre.
Now in its 24th year, the Belfast parade is claimed to be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 02-08-2014: Thousands of people pictured attending the annual Gay Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Now in its 24th year, the Belfast parade is claimed to be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Rainbows brightened up Belfast before the torrential rain had even finished on Saturday as the city's streets were filled with colour, glitter and attitude for the 24th Pride festival.

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) community, their families and friends defended themselves against the rain with umbrellas or ponchos and paraded through the streets clad in rainbow flags.

Dramatic and glamorous looking drag queens – being careful not to get their bouffant hairstyles ruined – travelled in style through the parade in vintage cars, waving to the crowd and cameras as they passed by.

Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon had earlier opened Northern Ireland's largest LGBT celebration as it kicked off in style at Custom House Square.

The parade made its way back to Custom House Square where the party was wrapped up by performances from Stooshe and music from DJ Gareth Woods.

Sean O'Neill, who chairs the Belfast Pride Festival, said people had come out onto the streets to celebrate and to "ask for full equality, the same rights as everyone else – no more, no less."

"We want Belfast to be the inclusive, progressive, confident city that we know it can be," he added.

Among the groups that took part in the parade were Lifeline, Here, Cara Friend, Belfast Roller Derby, the Alliance party and Sinn Fein. A small group of protesters from the Free Presbyterian church gathered at City Hall to make their opposition known.

Students' Union president Rebecca Hall said ahead of the parade that she will be calling on the Assembly to abolish the ban on blood donation for gay men and to allow marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

Video: Thousands ignore the rain to enjoy Belfast Pride parade 

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