Pride in London organisers have apologised after a group of anti-trans protesters “forced their way to the front of the parade”.
Members of anti-trans group Get The L Out demanded that they be allowed to march behind the rainbow flag, which represents the beginning of the parade, at London Pride on Saturday.
The trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) group believes that the trans rights movement threatens the safety of women and causes lesbian erasure.
Pride officials attempted to refuse the group from marching behind the flag stating they “did not want to legitimise them or their message”.
The protesters carried leaflets opposing trans inclusive rights and reforms. They also marched with signs with anti-trans slogans like “transactivists erase lesbians”.
— Richard (@Fuzzy_Logic_) July 7, 2018
Pride organisers described the behaviour as “shocking and disgusting”.
“The protest group showed a level of bigotry, ignorance and hate that is unacceptable. We reject what this group stands for,” said the official Pride in London statement. “They do not share our values, which are about inclusion and respect and support for the most marginalised parts of our community.”
“We are proud of our trans volunteers, proud of the trans groups that are in our parade, proud of our trans speakers at events and proud of the trans people who take part in our campaigns and proud of those who cheered even louder for them yesterday,” said London Pride.
The protesters laid on the ground to physically block the parade from continuing. After negotiations with staff, they were permitted to march the rest of the route.
Officials say they tried to keep distance between the protesters and the Pride parade.
Patricia Curtis, board member of TransPals said, “It’s disappointing that anti-trans activists decided to hijack the front of a parade, an insult to all the hardworking staff in the NHS whose place they stole.”
“We protested to protect our rights and on behalf of all the lesbians intimidated, threatened and silenced by the GBT community everywhere,” said a spokeswoman for Get The L Out. “The GBT community today, by supporting the rights of males who “identify as lesbians” (also called ‘transwomen’) over the rights of lesbians to choose their sexual partners (on the basis of their sex, not how they ‘identify’) is in fact enforcing heterosexuality on lesbians.”
Many participants and community members, including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, denounced the group on Twitter and sent love to the trans community.
the cool thing is that we can’t ask something if it’s a chair but we absolutely can ask if someone’s a woman and they can say yes or no, probably easier to trust them instead of getting into semantic debates!
— Avery Edison (@aedison) April 18, 2018
terf lesbians at london pride claiming trans women are threatening their identity is the most ridiculous thing i’ve heard. a trans woman threw the first brick at stonewall that started the pride movement fuck off with your transphobia
— lil?️? (@lilycarolinee) July 7, 2018
Pride in London reports that Pride participants still felt joy and love from the 30,000 people that marched in comparison to the actions of the eight anti-trans protestors.
The organisers and volunteers are currently investigating and reviewing both their policies and the events which took place with the Greater London Authority, the Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council, TfL and Pride’s Community Advisory Board to prevent similar events from happening in the future.
“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,” said Kristine Garina, President of European Pride Organisers Association.
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