Pride: sore feet and cheekbones!

For Pride month, our members are sharing their stories, our committee member, Ed Magee, tells his story.

Committee Member Ed Magee (right) and friends at Pride.

Pride and what it means to me – sore feet and cheekbones! 

By Ed Magee 

I’ve only marched twice in Pride, once with Harrow and Brent council and once with Camden council but I’ve volunteered since 2012 with Pride. 

Volunteering for Pride is a long day making it safe for everyone. It takes a huge number of volunteers and an immense about of planning behind the scenes all done by a core team of volunteers.  You should see the training on how to manage the road crossing it’s a precision operation.  

I’ve been a Steward in the pink shirts and even a senior steward one year in the purple tee shirt. Last time the shirts were yellow I have a load of pride tee shirts in various colours.  

Pretty in Pink: Ed Magee

As a steward, it was lovely meeting the crowds lining the routes and as the parade ends joining all the volunteers at the end of March with a mass block of pink.  Plus you get a great view of the parade even if your feet protest at standing and walking around all day.  You also learn how to travel light as volunteers carry all their stuff – a phone, a cash card. a spare battery and a charger cable is all you need. You also become obsessed with checking the weather forecast will it be too hot too wet or ideally sunny intervals. Plus never put pin badges on next to your skin unless you put a plaster over the catch inside – we don’t want chaffing. 

Most years I’ve worked in registration kitting out the volunteers and that’s fun but a very very early start.  So early even the various high street coffee shops aren’t open. Just as well I’m a morning person. When you have to fold thousands of tee shirts in multiple colours for the different roles and sizes you learn to fold a tee shirt in seconds – if Gap still existed I have transferable skills.  

Proud: Ed Magee

Registration is like a swan gliding along in the surface but loads of people working together to get the volunteers in, dressed, feed, grouped and dispatched.  You get very sore cheekbones because you’ve spent all day smiling at people. 

Pride in London has had its issues and whilst I’m no longer a core team member, it has very dedicated volunteers and I’ve signed up to volunteer this year again. So if you see me say hello.  I’ll be the one in pink, purple or maybe yellow with comfy shoes and shorts with pockets and a smile as long as it’s dry and hopefully no chaffing.

If you would like to share your story with us, please email:

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