Aimee Challenor (far left) at the London Pride Parade 2017
Walking through Oxford Street, the space was flooded with colour. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple covered the grey walls and buildings. A procession of flamboyant vehicles jived through the streets, booming out vibrant songs and encouraging the crowd to dance. It is undeniable that the energy on that day was full of nothing but positivity, happiness, and of course buckets of Pride. However, beneath the surface, there is a blackness. And when the crowds disperse and the people return home, the LGBTIQA+ community go on battling oppression, hate and mental health problems. This is not to say all of them go through this, but the figures show that LGBTIQA+ people are three times more likely to suffer depression, twice as likely to experience suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts, and seven times more likely to take drugs, compared with their heterosexual counterparts.