The repercussions of the protest from the anti-trans group who disrupted Pride last year have been far-reaching and harrowing – particularly for the Trans community who expect Pride to provide a safe, welcoming space.
Last year’s protest spread a lot of hate and created a lot of upset. We issued a formal apology and know there is more to be done.
We will not let Pride be used as a platform to spread transphobic hate again. We have learned from last year, we have listened and we are doing everything we can to avoid anything like this happening again.
It’s an absolute priority for us to ensure that Pride in London - both the event and the organisation - is unequivocally a trans-inclusive place. We are now in a place to share with you some of the steps that we’ve been taking since last year’s event.
Starting with security. Together with our partners Innovision, the Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council and the Greater London Authority we are reviewing the security protocol used last year and what we can improve. Security in key areas is being reviewed and we are increasing our volunteer and security training to make sure that our teams are best prepared for all situations, where possible.
Consultation has also been key. Our Trans Takeover Evening, at our pop-up shop provided a chance to hear feedback in the days following the parade. The takeover was part of our Pride Festival, which over the years brought trans performers to places like the Science Museum. In everything we do we are working to ensure the Trans community are front and centre. This extends through to our marketing campaign. This year we have held a private consultation with key members of the Trans community to discuss how to move forward, progress our movement, and we are collectively pushing for solidarity.
Finally, education has played a huge role in how we better ourselves. We have been seeking to get better at hearing trans voices within our community - both online and offline - and have trans volunteers who have been helping us with this. We have also been speaking to a number of organisations who have provided us with valuable feedback and input. We recognise that it’s not the job of the trans community to help anyone be better, so we massively appreciate and are grateful for their time and support.
Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids said: To back out of Pride in London when they are showing that they are addressing these issues only bows to hate. Mermaids is working with our partners and Pride in London. We will only take part if we are satisfied that concerns have been addressed and that security and safety, especially of vulnerable people, particularly children, is paramount. Pride in London have apologised for the mistakes made last year, and the distress caused. They are committed to standing up to intimidation and oppression. So are Mermaids, alongside our partners Stonewall, UK Black Pride and We Level Up”.
Christopher Joell-Deshields, Director of Community Engagement for Pride in London added, “We must maintain a Pride that works for the full spectrum of the LGBT+ community. 50 years since the Stonewall uprising we must remember who started our movement and mark their importance. We must also ensure that as a community we stay united in the face of hate both internally and externally”.
“We will also be hosting an open meeting with the Met Police in the coming months for anyone who would like to discuss any concerns they have regarding this year’s parade. The details for this will be announced shortly”.
Chief Superintendent Helen Millichap, Met spokesperson for the event, said: “Pride is a unique event celebrating London's diverse communities, and the Metropolitan Police Service has proudly and fully supported it for many years. We continue to work very closely with the organisers to make sure the event is safe and secure for everyone. We are proud of our strong partnerships across all groups that celebrate at Pride and will continue to discharge our core role of keeping people safe. We look forward to the opportunity to outline our plans together at the open meeting”.
We continue to learn and will try to be the best custodians of Pride that we can be.