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Pride in London 2015, Matias Altbach
Pride in London 2015, Matias Altbach
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What To Do in London During Pride

Picture of Nicholas Atkins
Updated: 25 June 2017
With this year’s Pride set to top even last year’s massive celebration, there are a thousand festival events to catch your eye in the lead up to the parade on July 8. Here are five of the best ways to make the most of Pride 2017

ART | Queer British Art 1861-1967

📅 Until October

This is a fantastic way to acquaint yourself with the history of the LGBTQ movement in Britain, through some of the most beautiful and poignant art created by, for, and around the community. Featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer identities, the show marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer British Art explores how artists were able to convey their feelings in a time of great change in established assumptions about gender and sexuality. From portraiture to sculpture, letters and artefacts, it is a comprehensive and enlightening collection.

Tickets from £15

📍 Tate Britain, London, UK

A David Hockney at Queer British Art, courtesy of Tate Britain
A David Hockney at Queer British Art, courtesy of Tate Britain

PLAY| Rotterdam

📅 Wednesday 21 June 2017 – Saturday 15 July 2017, 7.30-10pm

This Olivier Award-winning play focuses on gender, sexuality, and being a long way from home. It comes from writer Jon Brittain, author of What Would Spock Do? and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad). The bittersweet comedy focuses on Alice, who wants to come out as a lesbian. Her girlfriend Fiona begins her transition to begin life as Adrian, a man. This leaves Alice questioning whether she can still identify as a lesbian ­– or is she in fact straight? Touching, funny and mind-opening stuff.

Tickets from £16-£56

📍 The Arts Theatre London, UK

Alice McCarthy and Ellie Morris in Rotterdam, photo by Hunter Canning
Alice McCarthy and Ellie Morris in Rotterdam, photo by Hunter Canning

TOUR | Saucy Soho Tours

📅 Sunday 25 June 2017 – Saturday 08 July 2017, 10:30am – 8:30pm

These informative and cheeky rambles around London’s seediest district promise to introduce you to some of the most fascinating, controversial and outrageous LGBTQ characters from throughout history. Explore the lives, loves and eccentricities of the people who have called the area home and, as the tour guides say, ‘put the “ho” in Soho!’ The tour culminates in an infamous Soho bar to toast the LGBTQ legends of past and present.

Tickets from £12

📍 The Palace Theatre, 112 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, UK

EXHIBITION |Desire, Love and Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories

📅 Until 15 October 2017

In a way that only the British Museum could, this display offers glimpses into LGBTQ histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from around the world, covering ancient civilisations right up to the present day. It aims to present stories that have often been overlooked or underrepresented; from prominent figures of the classical world like the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous to modern-day drag queens in Japan, same-sex desire, love and gender diversity have been expressed in a huge range of ways across cultures through the years. The Museum has a great and longstanding relationship with LGBTQ organisations, and the expertise and experience of these individuals within these groups has helped to inspire and shape the content of the collection.

Free

📍 British Museum, London, UK

Coin with the head of Antinous, courtesy of The British Museum
Coin with the head of Antinous, courtesy of The British Museum

NIGHTLIFE | Soho Bars and Clubs

Celebrating LGBTQ Pride can be thirsty work. So why not explore London’s best gay bars to wet your whistle and let your hair down? Soho is the heart of the LGBTQ community so is the best place to start to find a nightspot with a bit of character. The Admiral Duncan, Bar Soho, Circa and Comptons are all sure to be buzzing around Pride, with drag nights, themed dress-up occasions and parties through the night. It would be rude not to.

📍Soho, London, UK