13:11 | 19th April 2019

News: UK

Mon 1 Mar, 2010
By Danielle Carter

Carl used to walk the entire route backwards, facing his floats.

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Pinkwire goes one-on-one with the Pride London board

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Name : Colm Howard-Lloyd
Position: Chair of Communications
Years at Pride London: Pride London has only existed since 2004 (see Paul Birrell's interview for the full history) but I was involved with the parade for a good few years before that. In total I think I've served around a 12-year sentence so far.

What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it for?

I head up the communications and marketing team. We are responsible for the publicity of the event.

I've been in this role for exactly a week!

Prior to this appointment, what other experience do you have within Pride London?

I actually used to do this role 3-years ago but I've been doing other things in the organization in the meantime to ensure I have a wider experience of our event. Lately I've been working on our operations team and have been responsible for Pride London's relationship with the agencies that license and assist our event such as the police and Westminster City council.

What has been your Pride highlight?

My highlight so far has been EuroPride which Pride London last hosted in 2006. This saw us double our numbers at the event in a single year and really changed the very nature of pride in London. It proved to everyone that a free event, right in the centre of the city, was both popular and sustainable.

Looking to the future I am hoping my highlight will become WorldPride 2012. We are the first in what will become a regular event, and being part of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic celebrations and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee we intend to set the bar very high! In particular we intend the event to have a real global focus and in particular shine a spotlight on other areas of the world such as the commonwealth, and the LGBT issues there.

Who in Pride London do you email the most?

I've changed this question slightly, to move the emphasis away from the board - we need to highlight how big an organization we are. Hope that's ok. At the moment I am in a new role, so most of my emails are to the group list for that committee. I've got a fantastic bunch of people to work with, who are patiently tolerating my thousand questions to understand where we are at. Working in an entirely volunteer organization is so different; you can't just stop by someone's desk to ask something, so it's lots of questions and catch-up meetings for now.

Can you share with us one secret or one funny story about a fellow Pride colleague?

Carl, our Commercial and HR Director used to be Floats Marshall. To ensure that everything was fine with his part of the parade he used to walk the entire route backwards, facing his floats. How he didn't fall over more often I'll never know. I think he's a closet Majorette!

On the day of Pride London where will we be able to find you? You'll probably find me dashing about trying to ensure that all of the great news stories on the day are covered by the press pack that attend the event. As pride has become more acceptable, and the event more slick and professional, it has become harder to find them real stories.

The big story continues to be our numbers which have grown massively over the last 6 years, but I am also keen to "sell" the important issues Pride London is highlighting such as the fact that in so many countries being gay or lesbian, let alone holding a massive pride event, would be punishable by death. The more rancid press will be looking out for their cliche photos of a leather daddy, someone dressed in almost nothing and a drag queen with a beard, but I try and steer them away from that.

If you could have anyone dead or alive heading up the parade who would it be? I don't really need to draw-up a fantasy list as I think we already have the ideal people heading-up our parade. We have LGBT heroes like Peter Tatchell, people who have made a real difference like Michael Cashman, Lord Smith and Sir Ian McKellen and the stars you want to see like Stephen K Amos. Excitingly we've now had both Mayors of London and the wife of the Prime Minister. If I had one wish I guess it would be to have the serving Prime Minister, whoever that turns out to be, this year!


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