Celebrating the Pride in London march


Today is a day when we acknowledge those who gallantly fought back during the Stonewall Riots - a series of violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of New York City.

The very first Pride Rally took place in 1970 in Manhattan and on July 1st, 1972, the first ever UK Pride Rally held in London with about 2,000 people taking part. The date was chosen as the nearest Saturday to the third anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

On Saturday, 52 years on from the first pride event, the Pride in London march takes place with the club's LGBTQ+ team Charlton Invicta FC leading a 50-plus strong group - including Charlton Athletic and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) Staff, members of the RSK Pride Network and carers from Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Charlton Invicta FC player John Taylor said: “I joined Invicta in late 2021 after one of my friends invited me to come along to watch a game. With a few injuries to some players in the second half, borrowing kit from everyone and with boots too big and an oversized shirt - I ended up making my unexpected debut.

"That one experience showed me what Invicta was all about showing a real togetherness and team spirit especially after the disappointment to losing people threw injuries and I joined the club shortly after. 

"I marched with the team at Pride in London in 2023 and it was my second time at pride after attending my first one with my sister, who is gay, a few years previously. My sister had a challenging time coming out and was judged by others - some of people being part of the family. I am proud to stand by her side and her right to be who she wants to be and love who she wants to love.

"Last year was a real family affair for me as I attended with my partner Jess, my stepdaughter Addiena and my sister Emma. It was my first time being part of the actual march and it was an amazing experience for me. It was also a special day for my stepdaughter who had recently come out as gay. It was such a magical moment for her to see all the love and support, and people showing her how loved and accepted she is in this world. She can now grow up knowing that it is ok to be who you want to be and love who you want to love. She can keep sparkling into this most amazing, beautiful person she has become and be her authentic self at all times.

"It was a real proud moment for me and her mum to see her overjoyed with love and excitement and that’s why I’m marching this year to support for her and my sister, and anyone else struggling to be there authentic self in fear of what others might say or think in a world and society with a lot of hate going around. Together let us just remember it is ok to be yourself and being you is more than enough. 

"I urge anyone that is struggling to speak to someone it is ok not to be ok sometimes and there is more people out there who’s willing to listen than you think it all starts with a conversation so be who you want to be and love who you want to love."

Pride was and always has been a protest. It was born from a riot. A time to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and stand in solidarity with a marginalised community. As a club, we stand united with all of our fans and promote the message that everyone is welcome at Charlton Athletic.

To everyone that is marching on Saturday, we wish you the best experience and look forward to seeing all of your photos and videos.

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