Although London’s Pride Parade was cancelled for the second year in a row, 2021 celebrations have not been halted entirely. As a part of the ongoing festivities, ten new rainbow roundels designed by LGBTQ+ artists have been unveiled within the London Underground network.
The new campaign serves to show Transport for London’s (TfL’s) support for the queer community, with the locations of the signage chosen by each creator. You can spot the dazzling designs in stations including Vauxhall, Brixton, Caledonian Road, Hammersmith, and Baker Street.
London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, was one of the chosen creators, with her design paying homage to Irish poet Oscar Wilde. In a statement released by TfL, Lamé comments: “When I first arrived in London I was acutely aware I was walking in the steps of my LGBTQ+ fore-siblings and I would regularly take the Tube and bus to visit spots linked to them.
“I was really honoured to be asked to create a roundel, and my Oscar Wilde design aims to encapsulate London’s rich LGBTQ+ history and also show a pathway to the future. As more people return to public transport, it feels really special that ten Pride roundels will be on display across the network – clearly showing that in London you can be who you want to be and love who you want to love.”
I'm honoured I was asked to design a @TfL roundel reflecting #LGBTQ+ #London. It will be on display at Caledonian Road station, near to Pentonville Prison where Oscar Wilde was first imprisoned for being gay. https://t.co/CLprdj9aF6
— Amy Lamé (london.gov.uk/coronavirus) (@amylame) September 22, 2021
Another creator, Marc Thompson, is passionate about raising awareness for HIV and the challenges facing the Black, gay community. His design quotes queer activist and writer, Joseph Beam, who once said, “Black men loving black men is a revolutionary act.” Thompson’s roundel is being displayed in Brixton’s Underground – in a neighbourhood boasting one of London’s largest Black populations.
Speaking on his creation, the activist said: “I’ve chosen these words and this image because I wanted honest visibility and representation of Black queer men to be highlighted in the London Underground. I am particularly proud that this roundel will be placed in Brixton where I was born and raised, and this station is central to my journey as a Black queer man in this city.”
TfL’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent, Marcia Williams, spoke out on the new campaign, saying, “We celebrate the LGBTQ+ community every day, and Pride is an important celebration to us.”
“We have transformed our stations and platforms into a place for positive messages of hope, love, compassion and unity that encourages important conversations around issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, as we see more people returning to the public transport network to enjoy what London has to offer.”
I’m so proud to be Mayor of such an inclusive and diverse city. This month, these new @TfL Pride roundels will be popping up all over the network to show support for our LGBTQ+ community—created by some of our most inspiring LGBTQ+ Londoners ?️? pic.twitter.com/G0gHhTeBz9
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) September 22, 2021
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