Pride in London today was billed as being led by Sadiq Khan and NHS staff, however it was hijacked by an anti-trans group who led the parade uninterrupted while calling trans women rapists.
The group, organising under the Twitter hashtag “#GetTheLOut,” numbered about 10 people who were presumed not to be cleared to march in the heavily numbers-restricted London Pride.
PinkNews filmed live from the scene and were able to report that the group led the march all the way to Trafalgar Square, uninterrupted, while handing out extremely transphobic leaflets.
Other groups marching were quick to condemn the hijack, in particular LGBT+ Lib Dems. Chair Jennie Rigg said “I am appalled that transphobic protesters were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on. This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”
In a longer statement subsequently posted to their Facebook she added “Allowing them to continue, betrays the LGBT+ communities by sowing division and hatred at an event aimed at fostering inclusion, love and pride.
“Lib Dems are committed to preserving and extending rights for trans people.”
“I am appalled that transphobic protestors were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on. This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”
— LGBT+ Lib Dems (@LGBTLD) July 7, 2018
In contrast to this, Pride in London has issued a statement saying that the parade “set off as planned,” citing Pride as having a significant protest element in apparent acknowledgement of the hijack:
A Pride in London spokesperson said “Every year people come to Pride for reasons that matter to the community. As we found in our recent Pride Matters report, 24% of people say a Pride is protest. 78% said it was a celebration.
“We are pleased that the parade set off as planned and that hundreds of thousands of Londoners are demonstrating that Pride still matters.”
Pride in London has since issued an updated statement, saying that ‘hot weather’ and concern for the thousands of attendees’ safety was why the group were allowed to march at the head of the parade, stating that Pride ‘do not condone’ the group, although not explicitly condemning them not stating the group’s actions.
A Pride in London spokesperson said: “Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters.
“Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.
“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”
Leaflets handed out at Pride are vetted by the organisers, who require foresight of any literature handed out. The flyers being handed out by the group who led the parade are clearly transphobic and go further to call for a break-up of the LGBT movement, saying that (cis) lesbians should form a separatist community.
Amongst the transphobic allegations, the leaflet states “The trans movement with the complicity of ‘queer’ LGBT politics is coercing lesbians to have sex with men. We firmly condemn this visions form of anti-lesbianism disguised as protest.’