Pride in London is always a huge day and is Clonezone PR and Brand Manager Topher Taylor’s favourite working day of the year. We asked Topher to tell us about this year’s Pride for him and the Clonezone team.
“My day began at the parade, as I was given a top-secret mission – courtesy of Pride in London, with special thanks to Jason Reid from the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and writer and producer, Ash Kotak. The mission was to open the Pride in London parade holding signs in support of the trans community, in light of what happened last year.
My sign read #GWithTheT to represent the L, G, B and T staying together against the protests made by trans exclusionary radical feminists at the parade in 2018. It was an honour to march alongside Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and be the one of the very first people walking the parade. It was an emotional experience which seemed to go in a flash – and the second it ended, I had to run from Whitehall to Soho to assist with Clonezone’s annual madness.
The 10-minute walk ended up taking 30 minutes due to how busy London was, and as I arrived, I jumped head first into 35 Old Compton Street’s plans for Pride 2019. The day began with me and my colleague settling into the day, getting things ready for the porn stars and models who were arriving from 3pm.
I had some paper fans (yes, the ones that make the ‘crack’ noise) made in the LGBT flag colours – including the addition of the brown and black stripes as well as silicone commemorative bracelets. As the guys arrived, people went mad and we had queues of people waiting to have photos taken with them.
The store staff work especially hard during Pride led by store manager – and previous Boyz cover star – Raf. We had special fashion promotions on, freebies and music. Many shy people arrived dressed casually and then popped into the store for a vibrant outfit to celebrate the day’s festivities. One of the things I love about Pride is seeing people arrive a little timid, then get changed into their gear and leave the store full of confidence. It really is one of those days out of the calendar where it feels fine to wear whatever makes you celebrate feeling QUEER as f*ck.
The best thing about Pride is the fixed moment to hang out with, dance with and hug our customers. It’s not that often that all of the Clonezone team are together but this is always a special day for us. Each time it comes, it’s a reminder of another year in business. We are 37 years old now as a company and we don’t take a day for granted. It’s PRIDE and our customers’ taste for self-expression and self-exploration which keeps our doors open, so thank you.”