Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

In Pictures: Gay Pride rainbow of colour bathes Belfast City Hall for carnival

The 23rd Annual Belfast Pride Parade
The 23rd Annual Belfast Pride Parade

BELFAST City Hall was lit up with a rainbow of colours to celebrate the Gay Pride carnival over the weekend., writes Amanda Ferguson

It was the first time the building had been illuminated in this manner for this or any other event.

The building will now be bathed in colour for notable events in the future — including green for St Patrick’s Day and orange for Orangefest this week.

The 23rd annual carnival celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community attracted tens of thousands of people to the city centre on Saturday.

Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir helped lead the parade, followed by an eye-catching mobility scooter tribute to the late veteran gay rights campaigner PA MagLochlainn.

Mr MagLochlainn, one of 100 people to take part in the first Pride parade from High Street to Botanic Gardens in 1991, died in November.

On Saturday his friends, sister Denise and niece Lucie dressed up in costumes he had worn at various Pride parades.

Denise said: “We hope that he is proud of us today, because he made us very proud.

“He wanted equality for all, he was a great crusader for gay rights.”

Sarah James and Karla Mason from Belfast made a civil partnership commitment at Belfast City Hall on May 14.

Sarah said: “To be here today, being proud of celebrating our union is just wonderful and we look forward to getting married when the laws change.”

Drag queen Tranny Long Legs (42) from the Shankill Road area of Belfast said: “I love how friendly Pride is. It's the only day of the year my partner and I can walk the streets hand and hand without being looked on as freaks.”

HIV blogger Michael Carchrie Campbell from east Belfast was representing gay Christian organisation Faith and Pride.

He said: “It's not about putting down others views but putting forward the simple truth that you can be both Christian and gay, they aren't opposing each other.”

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