Bermuda's gays and ­lesbians hope to parade through the streets of their home island once they have had "a practice run" at London's Gay Pride.

The island's gay community and their supporters - who live here and abroad - hope to come together for Bermuda Gay Pride "as soon as the island is ready".

They aim to increase ­visibility and solidarity of the island's gay community - and are thinking about collectively taking part in the Bermuda Day Parade.

Andra Simons, a gay Bermudian living in ­London, said: "Eventually we'd like to parade down the streets of Bermuda.

Drag queen

"We'd love to do something on our home island - it's something we'd all like to do. We would march as part of the Bermuda Day parade."

With regards to holding a Bermuda gay pride event, Adrian Beasley, 30, a Bermudian lawyer who is gay, said the island had "moved on a lot".

He added: "Marching down Front Street is not something that's very Bermudian in general.

"But it could happen, I don't believe people can be stopped from marching.

"Mark Anderson made a very big impression on Bermuda. Sybil [his drag queen stage name] is now an icon.

"So we have to keep the momentum going, then hopefully things will change."

As revealed in the ­Bermuda Sun on Wednesday, up to 50 people will take part in tomorrow's London Gay Pride parade wearing pink Bermuda shorts, blue knee-length socks, white shirts and blue ties while waving Bermuda flags.

Several people will be on scooters and a handful of Gombey dancers are also expected to take part.

The Bermudian contingent will march behind a huge Bermuda flag and banner.

Participants will include Bermudian gays and ­lesbians who live in ­London, those travelling to London from the island, plus 'straight' supporters.

Mr. Simons said they were looking forward to highlighting Bermuda on the global stage.

He said: "The main ­reason we are doing it is to create a sense of solidarity and visibility.

It's our 400-year anniversary celebrations and that was a catalyst for us taking part.

"We also hope this will be the year where sexual ­orientation is added to the Human Rights Act."

Alex Cabrall, a gay Bermudian theatre studies student in London, is also ­taking part in ­London's Gay Pride.

He said: "It's about ­solidarity and support for the gay ­community by showing ­visibility and pride. It's not about gay rights, it's about equality.

"There's no legal protection in Bermuda - you can ­discriminate on the basis of sexuality whether people are gay or straight." Mr. Beasley, who has flown to London to take part in the parade, claims he "felt the need to offer his support" as a proud ­Bermudian. He said: "We want to highlight the glaring inadequacies in the Human Rights Act.

"It's not just a gay rights issue, it's a Bermuda issue.

"We have an Act that is ­protecting some individuals but not others.

"We need equal human rights for everyone."

It is hoped that this is the first of many years that Bermuda will be represented at London's Gay Pride event.

It was during planning meetings that organisers agreed the event could be a "practice run" for "making it happen" in their home country.

Fear factor

Mr. Simons said "the fear factor" was the only thing that had stopped them holding parades in the past.

He said: "Many people fear repercussions for their families.

"It's such a close-knit community, it's going to take a lot of guts to do this."

Mr. Cabrall, 29, agreed, saying it was incredibly disheartening to see "open homophobia and open ­discrimination continuing in Bermuda".

He added: "A parade could certainly take place in Bermuda.

"But I don't think there would be large partici-­pation.

"Too many Bermudians don't want to speak out or come out of the closet ­because of fear of reper-­cussions."