Thousands take to streets for Bermuda Pride parade
Thousands of people took to the streets of Hamilton on Saturday in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community at the Bermuda Pride parade.
Rainbow flags, umbrellas and fans created a colourful spectacle while some supporters wore rainbow hats, tutus, beads or face paint.
Music played from trucks along the route that started and ended at Victoria Park, where a party was held later.
Some supporters took up spots to watch as the procession passed while others stepped out from shops and businesses to greet the parade.
More people cheered and welcomed the crowd from balconies on Front Street.
For many more pictures of the Parade, click here.
It was the first full-scale event since the inaugural parade three years ago.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that scaled-back celebrations were held in 2020 and 2021.
Tunji Tucker, head of the Bermuda Pride 2022 committee, said: “How does it feel to be back out after 2019? You know, it’s actually quite emotional.”
LGBTQ+ rights charity OutBermuda inherited the Bermuda Pride event this year from the original organisers.
Mr Tucker said: “Four months ago the idea was to do a parade and we wanted to make sure that everything was inclusive, so we actually extended it to the whole weekend.
“OutBermuda’s goal is always to take up space, for us to be seen and so whether it was a great turnout today or a light turnout today, we were going to be happy no matter what.
“The turnout today was actually amazing — more colourful than even the first year.
“It’s so diverse this year, I’ve noticed it. This is showing that there’s a big change happening in Bermuda. It’s been happening since 2019 and we thank everyone from 2019 to now … having a presence does make a change.”
He estimated that at least 2,000 people were at the parade.
Mr Tucker added: “We knew that the numbers were not going to be what they were in 2019; number one because the first of everything’s always going to be the biggest and two, because of Covid — people are still nervous about coming out but people came out in droves.
“People loved it.
“We actually had more participants this year than people watching whereas in 2019 people were watching, so people are trying to be involved.”
Mr Tucker thanked the “extremely diverse” committee, which he said was “all about love, and it translated” to the weekend’s events and the theme of Love and Live.
Myles Smith, of Warwick, said: “This is actually my first Pride because when the first Pride happened in Bermuda I was actually away for it.
“I was like, ‘they’re having another Pride event, I’m definitely coming’ — not only to support myself but also to support my friends.”
Lisa James attended to highlight “inclusion, diversity and equality”.
She said: “We have different facets of society that are socially excluded and, from my perspective, I want to be treated as an equal and I think that’s the main ethos of Pride, and that we are proud of who we are and we want other people to see that through the things we do for society.”
Ms James added: “For me, as an ally, it’s important especially for the youth, that they realise, I may be different or feel different, they don’t know what that means but there are other people that do and we have a community that’s able to support them healthily to get through it.”
Mike Hind said: “It’s important to support because everyone deserves equality, love and to be happy and find joy.”
He added that the event was “wonderful”.
Mr Hind said: “I was not expecting this turnout, I thought it was going to be a lot less because it was so amazing last time.
“They did really well this year again.”
A Bermuda Police Service spokeswoman said that the BPS, in partnership with the Corporation of Hamilton, “conducted roving street closures and provided an escort” for parade participants.
She added: “The event was well attended and went off without incident.
“The Bermuda Police Service would like to thank the motoring public for their patience during the road closure periods.”
* This has been updated to include a comment from the Bermuda Police Service, as well as more pictures of the parade.