The LGBTI Pride flag, replete with black and brown stripes, roundel at Hammersmith station | Picture: Transport for London
Transport for London (TfL) has announced it’ll commemorate London Pride with a trio of colorful roundels today (25 June).
But notably, the transport network is showing its colors by not only having a Pride flag that sports black and brown stripes – showing solidarity with queer people of color – but also a bisexual and trans Pride flag roundel, too.
The roundels will decorate selected stations around the capital city, carrying the hashtag, ‘#EveryStoryMatters.’
What’s set to happen?
TfL have increasingly this year shown themselves to be a corporate ally.
As the Sultan of Brunei introduced the death penalty for gay people, TfL, after some pressure, quickly removed adverts running across the network promoting the tiny patch of the island of Borneo, as a hot tourist spot.
Moreover, TfL banned adverts from 11 countries with poor LGBTI rights records. Including six which impose the death penalty for gay sex.
As a result, the call for the London tube network to sprinkle stations such as West London’s Hammersmith with the variegated roundels comes as a provocative statement at a time where Londoners are shaken by rising hate crimes.
Commuters chugging their morning coffee and eating croissants on-the-go will find the rainbow roundels in the following stations:
- Tottenham Court Road Underground Station
- Southwark Underground Station
- Camden Underground Station
- Highbury & Islington Underground Station
- Bounds Green Underground Station
- Westminster Underground Station
- Haggerston Overground station
- Canary Wharf DLR
- Romford station (TfL Rail)
- East Croydon station (Tram)
- Embankment Pier (River service)
- Vauxhall bus station
‘London is truly open to all’
Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, said in a press release that the roundels will act as literal signposts to the city, one that is cosmopolitan and inclusive.
He said: ‘The Pride roundels, celebrating LGBT+ Londoners of all races, backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, will show visitors from across the world that everyone is welcome here and London is truly open to all.
‘I know this year’s Pride will be another bold and vibrant celebration of London’s LGBT+ community which plays such an important role in shaping the culture of our city.’
Meanwhile, Staynton Brown, director of diversity, inclusion and talent at TfL said: ‘TfL has always been a strong supporter of Pride in London, the LGBT+ community, and everyone who lives in our vibrant and diverse city.
‘We welcome all communities and London is open for all to enjoy – whether you’re here to work, study or just enjoy London.’
TfL will also participate in UK Black Pride on 7 July in Haggertson Park.
The LGBT+ and BAME staff network groups will be on hand to discuss hate crime reporting.
‘Look forward to a public commitment from TfL’
Speaking to Gay Star News was Josh Rivers, head of communications at UK Black Pride. He told me his delight in the partnership, and the act of having the brown and black stripes will mean to thousands of queer people of color per day.
‘We are thrilled that TfL has adopted the eight-stripe flag on their roundels during Pride Month,’ he said.
‘The eight-stripe flag rightly highlights not only the tremendous contributions that LGBTQ people of colour have played in our modern liberation movement, but also the racism and disparities that continue to impact our daily lives.
‘We think it’s an important moment to also highlight the abuse and bullying our trans and gender nonconforming siblings are subject to so regularly on public transport, and look forward to a public commitment from TfL on how they will ensure the safety of the entire LGBTQ community all year round.’