I’ve always loved Pride and spent many happy times at Manchester Pride when I lived there but its never something I would have ever thought about doing with my young family. So when I was invited, along with my 5 year old son, to come on the o2 float I jumped at the chance. Oscar (that’s him above) invited his little ‘girlfriend’ Ruby and her mum to come with us. Meeting beforehand it was difficult to tell who was more excited – the kids or the mums!
There was a real sense of excitement in the air in Leeds. It didn’t feel scary or threatening. Actually the best word I can think of is Welcoming. Oscar was making friends with everyone he saw; telling them that he was going to be on the O2 bus and promising to wave at them!!
Once we had got on the bus and got ourselves kitted out in garlands, scarves, hats and as much rainbow paraphernalia as we possibly could, then it was time for makeup! We went for a rainbow glitter curve on our face….always got to keep with the brand!
Once we got going the whole thing went in a blur. We just laughed, sang and waved our hearts out.
It was such a special hour. Oscar and Ruby literally had the time of their lives – shooting the confetti guns, spraying out bubbles and eating copious amounts of sweets.
There was so many other o2 families on the bus with children of all ages (including one baby that fell asleep!). How fantastic that we get to help educate our children around diversity and inclusivity at such young ages. I was proud that my little boy had proudly worn a pink tutu (on his head for most of the time!) and engaged with people from all sorts of walks of lives with different preferences.
My friend and I spent time trying to explain the concept of Pride but we really shouldn’t have bothered. The normality for children who grow up today is that everyone is different and everyone is normal. It was absolutely fine for the kids to stare at people and laugh at their over the top costumes. They stared because the costumes were amazing; not because they saw two men together. And for me the best bit of the whole day was seeing the whole thing through their eyes.
Thank you to the team who did a fantastic job. I will definitely be signing the Evans family up for next year xx