Peter Marshall

London Pride

GAY PRIDE marches 1993-5, LONDON

I have been photographing events in London - including marches and demonstrations - for the last twenty years. As a documentary photographer I am interested in recording social practices and their evolution. The emergence of a gay consciousness no longer prepared to hide its sexuality behind a conventional front marks a major change.

As well as gays and bisexuals the marches also attract other groups whose sexual or related practices have brought them into conflict with society, together with those for whom gay rights is a civil liberties rather than a personal issue.

The photographer is always separated from the event by the camera - and in these and similar series of pictures I have attempted to reduce this barrier so far as possible to become a part of the scenes I am taking part in. Part of this process is an attempt to see the people concerned - whose views and life experience may be very different from my own - as individuals and to be sensitive to their concerns. In this particular area I am very aware of the existence of stereotypes, and also of the conscious adoption of these with greater or lesser irony by many of those I have pictured. Obviously the photographer and viewer are attracted by those who appearance is in some way striking or unusual. Among these pictures you will however also find those of the ordinary people who make up the great mass of the event.

Peter adds a set of 12 photos from the 1997 London Gay Pride parade.

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