London Pride is normally a festive, fun event. But one group decided to put a damper on the whole celebration. A noted transphobic group thought they’d stop the whole procession from marching.
The United Kingdom event on Saturday was, ideally, supposed to be an extravaganza of acceptance and tolerance, including all the branches of the LGBTQ community. But a group of ten counter-protestors disagreed.
Ten cisgender women stood at the front of the procession, and unrolled a banner. What did the sign say? “Transactivism Erases Lesbians.” The group then proceeded to hand out transphobic pamphlets to the assembled crowd.
Then the TEL laid down on the ground. And wouldn’t budge. Eventually the London Police, who were at Pride, got the TEL to move ahead. According to reports, the group was allowed to lead the march to Trafalgar Square.
After the fact, plenty of people were curious just why London Pride decided to give TEL such a notable place in line. Indeed, the London organizers are getting some heat for allowing the march to be headed up by the transphobic group.
This is the seventieth year of London Pride. The organization said that the hot weather was the source for the last-minute change in parade order.
The TEL, both in social media and online, have been accused of being TERFs. The initialism stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
Organizers stressed that the majority of the 30,000 participants did not share TEL’s transphobic message.
According to the Independent, the London Metropolitan Police were quotes as saying: “A small group at the front of the Pride in London parade were dealt with quickly and safely by event organizers at 1pm on Saturday. Police did not need to intervene. No arrests were made.”