About 10 women inexplicably led the Pride in London march, which was supposed to be led by London mayor Sadiq Khan, distributing leaflets and carrying banners with explicit anti-trans messages such as “trans activists erase lesbians” and “a male can never be lesbian.”
The extremist group reportedly blocked the parade for 10 minutes, lying down in the street to protest “lesbian erasure” until parade officials urged them to move on.
Anti-trans activists tried to stop London's Pride parade by laying down in the street https://t.co/yDjTACp7Wo
— The Independent (@Independent) July 7, 2018
Known to their adversaries as TERFs, or trans-exclusive radical feminists, the group protested using the hashtag #GetTheLOut, arguing that the trans movement is “anti-lesbianism.”
“We want to get the L out of Pride, a man cannot be a lesbian, a person with a penis cannot be a lesbian,” one protester told PinkNews.
Another claimed that “men are saying they are trans, they are lesbians, and they pressure lesbians to have sex with them.”
If you support this transphobia and separatist bigotry, you’re no friend of mine – nor anyone else. These leaflets were handed out at #prideinlondon and have everything to do with shame and nothing to do with #pride pic.twitter.com/njbopd3MPB
— (@pennyb) July 7, 2018
The TERFs had not been officially permitted to lead or even participate in the parade. However, despite event security and police presence, they were allowed to continue marching along the parade route until Trafalgar Square, where there was a vocal altercation between the group and other attendees.
“A small group at the front of the Pride in London parade were dealt with quickly and safely by event organizers,” says a Metropolitan Police spokesperson. “Police did not need to intervene. No arrests were made.”
Some local LGBTQ activists are calling on Pride in London organizers to publicly apologize and resign in the wake of the controversy.
#gettheLout #PrideInLondon #pride #peaktrans
Lesbians asked to remove their banners from pride parade so lay on floor in protest. Now handing out flyers highlighting #lesbianerasure #sheros pic.twitter.com/S9KuH2VlfB
— NurtureMyBaby (@NurtureMyBaby) July 7, 2018
“I am appalled that transphobic protestors were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on,” says Jennie Rigg of LGBT+ Lib Dems. “Allowing them to continue betrays the LGBT+ communities by sowing division and hatred at an event aimed at fostering inclusion, love and pride.”
“Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters,” a Pride in London spokesperson responds. “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.”
UPDATE: Click here to read Pride in London’s full apology: “Their behaviour was shocking and disgusting, and we condemn it completely.”
These women at London Pride are so hateful and boring. Queerness and gender are more complicated and more beautiful than your basic essentialism makes them out to be. Get over it. pic.twitter.com/WzLZUrGN46
— shannon keating (@__keating) July 7, 2018
— Laren (@NullPriestess) July 7, 2018
— LGBT+ Lib Dems (@LGBTLD) July 7, 2018
hey trans gals who went to London Pride today and had to see the TERFs protesting our existence,
i love all of you. you're fucking great. you're a woman. if you identify as such, you're a lesbian. TERFs don't know shit. they're vocal, but they will lose out.
lots of love
— Riley J. Dennis (@RileyJayDennis) July 7, 2018
London Pride was an amazing experience but can we just talk about the fact that the anti-trans group were allowed to GO FIRST and walk all the way down without anyone stopping them? So if there were anti-lesbian or anti-gay men groups included, would they be allowed to walk? pic.twitter.com/xuuWlsKZdN
— (@literallymandyy) July 7, 2018
This banner from the TERF idiocy at London #pride is kinda funny. It's "literal violence" to call cis people "cis people" but I have to call myself "lesbian" not "queer?"
— Just Izzy (@IzzyKamikaze) July 7, 2018
I can't believe that TERF's were able to be part of london pride, LEAD IT, and attendees were encouraged to cheer?!
If you agree with TERF rhetoric, you need to unfollow me now.
Trans women are women. Trans women can be lesbians. Stop being a bigot and a fucking transphobe. ✌
— Hannah (@hansycecilia) July 7, 2018
The TERF feminist group who have marched in the London Pride parade are a disgrace. We are supposed to be inclusive and this means Trans too. Shame on you London Pride for not removing them, they are not part of our community! #PrideinLondon #PrideMatters
— Kerry Jimson (@Kerry_jimson) July 7, 2018
This is what TERF rhetoric looks like, and TERFs will absolutely be emboldened after the #GetTheLOut hijacking of London Pride. Trans women, especially trans bi women and tans lesbians, need you right now. Study these, note the dogwhistles, do not let these people into our spaces pic.twitter.com/tlRqXLHVYQ
— transbian (@aubjetpetitgay) July 7, 2018
London Pride was led by TERF group; They call to take the L out of LGBTQ+. Calling CIS LESBIAN's CREATE + SHARE A 5 SEC VIDEO 'I am a cis female lesbian, I support trans rights – trans women do not erase me. Keep the L with the T’ #LwiththeT #notadebate pic.twitter.com/m2PpHQ4OyB
— Ellie Stamp (@StampEllie) July 7, 2018