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Pride in London organisers 'sorry' over 'anti-trans' protest

Pride in London said the group “forced their way to the front of the parade”.

People take part in the Pride in London Parade in central London
People take part in the Pride in London Parade in central London
Image: John Stillwell via PA Images

PRIDE IN LONDON organisers have apologised after ‘anti-trans’ campaigners “forced their way to the front of the parade” on Saturday.

Members of the Get The L Out group, who were not a registered parade group, demanded to march behind the rainbow flag, which marks the official start of the parade, according to organisers.

“We did not allow that as we did not want to legitimise them or their message,” Pride in London said.

The organisers said the behaviour of the group was “shocking and disgusting”.

It said that it could not forcibly remove the group as their protest was not a criminal offence.

“We moved them to an area far in front of the official parade start to separate them. We are looking at what we can do differently if something like that happens again,” Pride in London said in its statement.

It added that “we are sorry” and that “the actions of eight people did not stop the joy and love that was demonstrated” at the parade.

The incident generated a significant amount of comment on social media.

Speaking of the protesters, Pride in London 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.

“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.”

Pride in London said it is treating the situation “extremely seriously” and will be reviewing what happened with the Greater London Authority, the Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council and Transport for London.

Patricia Curtis, board member of TransPALS said: “It’s disappointing that anti-trans activists decided to hijack the front of the parade, an insult to all the hardworking staff in the NHS whose place they stole.

“But their vile stunt failed. London is a place that doesn’t tolerate hate. The reaction of the crowds to our groups was inspiring. We felt their support and goodwill all the way from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square.”

In a statement published by the BBC, a Get The L Out spokesperson said: “We protested to protect our rights and on behalf of all the lesbians intimidated, threatened and silenced by the GBT community elsewhere.

“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.

“This is a misogynistic and anti-lesbian manifestation of the rape culture we live in.”

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