London Pride organisers apologise after protestors interrupt parade

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

On Sunday, Pride in London organisers issued a public apology via their website condemning an unregistered lesbian protest group as "transphobic, hateful protestors who blocked the Pride". The annual lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) Pride in the English capital ended with roughly 30 thousand people participating in this year's parade, organisers said.

A group of lesbians called "Get the L Out" protested in the parade with signs reading "Transactivism erases lesbians", "Lesbian Not Queer" and "Lesbian = Female homosexual". The group distributed leaflets which read, "The trans movement with the complicity of 'queer' LGBT politics is coercing lesbians to have sex with men. [...] We stand for the rights of lesbians to choose their sexual partners on the basis of their sex not their 'gender identity' [...] We condemn any pressure on lesbians [...] if they refuse so called 'transwomen' as potential sex partners".

Pride in London organisers in their official statement said, "The protest group showed a level of bigotry, ignorance and hate that is unacceptable. We reject what this group stands for. They do not share our values, which are about inclusion and respect and support for the most marginalised parts of our community."

The organisers called the "Get the L Out" group "transphobic". The group was not expelled from the pride as they did not commit a criminal offence, organisers said. By later report, Metropolitan Police allegedly refused to remove the "Get the L Out" group. On Twitter, to counter the group, the hashtag of "#LwiththeT" surfaced. Board member of TransPALS Patricia Curtis condemned the "hijack" of the Pride parade.

Condemning the incident, President of European Pride Organisers Association Kristine Garina said, "The Pride movement was begun by trans people and trans people must always be welcome at Pride". Garina continued, "Hate has no place at Pride, and we stand with the organisers who have promised to review what happened to try and ensure it cannot happen again."

This year's theme was "Pride Matters". Saturday's parade started at Portland Place at noon and ended at Whitehall, the BBC reported, with 30 thousand people participating in the march from 472 organisations. London mayor Sadiq Khan also participated in the pride parade. "In London, you're free to be who you are and you're free to love who you want to love, and it's really important we're never complacent", Khan said.