Parade (Walking Group)
Lets March on behalf of all Bisexuals(/pansexuals/...)! If you identify with us, or consider yourself a bi ally, please do join us! You'll be clapped and cheered, offered more high-fives than you can shake two sticks at, and people afterwards have said they felt like a star for a few hours (see below). Great way to boost your self confidence! (but do read on carefully).
There's been a kerfuffle this year, but we finally have a "Bi Pride UK" group with space in the parade to walk with. I've reserved a few spaces for us (out of the 50 they have), latest until 15 June; if you haven't reserved a wristband for yourself (by email, see below), answer the question when you RSVP and I'll allocate you one of those while I can. DO change your RSVP if you're not going though, as soon as you can, so someone else can have it.
Come along and wear Purple if you can! The idea is to ensure that the huge number of Parade spectators are aware that bisexuals exist (we would be the largest group there by far if everyone identifying with us were to join us). Its important to be prepared for 3-4 hours of waiting, marching and waiting until it finishes - no seats provided - though you can escape for emergencies etc., you won't be allowed back in.
After the parade you can try and join people in the main square, or (easier) get to a cafe/pub/club and hang out, bask in the glow or just take a breather. Do come prepared whatever you do! (our group event for the rest of Pride parade day (https://www.meetup.com/london-bisexuals/events/240035098/) has good tips, worth reading).
By marching, you're agreeing to follow their code of conduct (http://prideinlondon.org/about-us/parade-code-of-conduct); it includes common sense things like no threats, violence or aggressive behaviour; no derogatory remarks/abuse to others; you should not be drunk or under (illegal) drugs etc.; click and read the link for details. The whole group can be pulled out for any single indiscression so be responsible!
To reserve a wristband yourself (if you're definitely coming, we ran out last year so be considerate) email to [masked]. Up to end of 15th, if you say you haven't registered when you RSVP (or if you change your RSVP and re-answer it), I'll try reserve you one but all slots are allocated; ask to go on the waiting list via that email.
The walking group will meet up and assemble to march on Baker Street (same as most years) at the front (or v.near) within "Section B" of the march, from 11.30am(). There will likely be a separate meeting place nearby if you arrive earlier (recommended for your first-time), then walking to the assembly point for the march when ready. If you head straight to the assembly point, allow at least 10 minutes to walk from Baker St tube (or Bond Street) past the other marching groups to our assembly point (enjoy the floats on the way! its hard to see them during/after you finish).
Be there by 12.30pm (or earlier) as they will restrict entry before our section starts processing at 1pm. Near 12.30 you will be able to leave (eg. for emergencies) but might not be able to rejoin the parade. We cannot wait for you as we must be in position for this. You may not be able to join us if you miss the meet-up. Look out for banners in the bisexual colours of pink, purple and blue, and lots of purple outfits (though others also wear purple). Baker Street (the road) is closed for other traffic, as is the rest of the parade route of course.
Why march? Well after last year, 3 different people wrote:"The amount of love and unity I felt during the parade was overwhelming. That will stay with me for quite some time."and"My first march and I'm elated", also "Thank you all for such an amazing, fab, fun and empowering day yesterday. It was a privilige to walk, talk and dance with you. I couldn't wished for a better 1st bi Meetup or 1st Pride parade.". You might end up in photos or videos from the other paraders/crowds, or press/media. Some people have heard less friendly shouts in past years like "breeders" (depends how you take it) but thats a very small minority and thankfully getting even less common.
Once you're at the setup point, you'll be waiting around and organising yourself, banners, umbrellas, kids, food/water etc. until the march starts. The head of the parade moves off from 1pm (or later if delayed). Each group has to wait for groups ahead so for groups near the back it might be 2pm before we begin marching. We've been told we're at the front though. The crowds cheering us on will get bigger towards the end - it might make you feel like a superstar with all the whoops, cheers, cameras pointed at us, thumbs up, and high-fives on offer from all sides, and it has certainly improved my confidence every year I've done it (though I was a bit nervous the first time - don't let that stop you!).
The march itself is about 2 miles and takes around 2-3hrs, with lots of pauses (it would otherwise take ~45 minutes to walk).
The parade route finishes just beyond Trafalgar Square and you'll continue to the exit (breakout) point via Whitehall onto Whitehall Place - you can see the route on the Pride website. I recommend exiting via Scotland Place onto Great Scotland Yard to avoid some of the crowds, then you can either head somewhere else (eg. Soho) to rest/eat/start partying, or into Trafalgar Square to join others from the group (queues will be very long by this point, it might take 30 minutes to an hour to get in after the march; see below).
Pride's event details: http://prideinlondon.org/events/2017/07/08/parade
(official) Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1632972000328640/
Here's the bi flag and a banner ("Out and proud"...) from last year