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Statement on threats to disrupt Pride

23 May 2016

Pride in London logo (Photograph: Michael McDonough)

A senior volunteer at Pride in London said:

"There's a group of people who try and disrupt Pride every year. It's really upsetting that a day that is all about acceptance can be targeted in this way. We've spent so many years suffering disruption and abuse from people outside our community, it's depressing that we have to face it from with our community too.

“It feels like we are being bullied. If people don’t like the Pride we have created, then they should form their own event rather than try and spoil ours.”

James Holt, Director of Communications for Pride in London said:

"We are proud to have the armed forces in our parade and they always get a great reaction from the crowds. It is an incredible symbol of acceptance.

"This year for the first time ever, the Red Arrows are flying over Pride in London. They are doing this as a mark of respect for their LGBT+ colleagues in the RAF.

"After many years of exclusion and oppression, being able to serve our country openly is one of the most significant steps forward in equality we have seen.

"The theme of Pride in London this year is #NoFilter. This is all about campaigning for those people who have to live their lives with a filter, unable to be their true self. It also celebrates the progress we have made. For this day, for this moment, people in London can be free to be whoever they want to be.

"We are delighted to have such wonderful support from the military, public services, community and sporting groups, campaigners, charities, LGBT+ businesses and companies. It is a very special day for employers and employees alike.

“It is also an event which can only take place thanks to the incredible hard work of hundreds of volunteers, and we hope everyone attending Pride in London will think of the experience those volunteers are having and work in a spirit of cooperation with them."

A spokesperson for Stonewall said:

"Stonewall works alongside each of the armed forces to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bi and trans members of the military are accepted without exception. Each of the Services has come on a long journey toward LGBT equality, and we have seen fantastic work and progress from in recent years.

"The Red Arrows flying during the Pride in London parade sends a powerful message, that all LGBT people are welcome in the military and no longer have to choose between a career in the armed forces and being open about who they are. This is extremely positive for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who want to serve, or are serving, in the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army."

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