My first Pride in London was in 2014. I went alone, telling no-one I was going (though looking back, mum definitely knew.)

The whole day was a wonderful experience for a not-yet-out teenager who didn’t understand anything about the diverse, colourful and welcoming community that I would soon consider my family. I couldn’t attend my beloved hometown pride this year, and after hearing the actions of Get The L Out I’m glad- because it is only now, a few days later, I can coherently express my anger. 

Eight people from the aforementioned organisation staged a protest upon the parade route, blocking its path. Unable to move the protesters due to the fact they were technically breaking no laws, this group of transgender exclusionists led the parade.

Therefore the figurehead of a historic protest challenging bigotry and celebrating difference became hateful activists. 

Get The L Out argues increasing recognition of trans people is attacking the rights and safety of women, particularly lesbians. London Pride organisers have since called this minority’s actions “shocking and disgusting”, but stressed they didn’t ruin the day for the thousands marching and those who lined the streets. Maybe not, but it is a worrying symbol of growing transphobia in the guise of something else. 

Discrimination is always discrimination, regardless of the party who commit it or the words they use to justify it. I understand the fear these women have; as the trans rights movement accelerates, it is expected for some to be fearful of an unknown future. Conversations and education are needed as we as a community evolve within ourselves and the wider society. 

However, to disrespect the existence of so many in our community is wrong- end of. 

Pride is, and always has been, a protest, and the right to protect is one I value and cherish. However, to question the existence of someone and their rights is not a protest, it is bigotry. Our community has a proud history of fighting for the silenced, marginalised and discriminated; think of the ground-breaking activism of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, whose inspiring work has spawned the modern-day Lesbians and Gays Support Migrants.

A number of Pride parades have yet to happen, including Bristol, who have asked citizens to sign a pledge to show their support for trans people, with their slogans #IPledgeTransSupport and #KeepHateOutOfBristol. I hope the organisers of these events work to do just that and keep Pride a place of acceptance, as it should be.

I recognise that for many, gender is a complex subject and conversations around it can be difficult or uncomfortable.

But to choose hatred over education and understanding is just that- a choice.

To expect everyone in the community to hold identical beliefs is fruitless. However, we must demand acceptance for all. As we have spent decades fighting for it in wider society.

Last weekend was someone’s first pride- likely someone with a lot of questions and seeing and meeting new people they won't have come across before.

For their sake, I hope our community can unite in its shared aim to campaign for the rights of people of all sexualities and gender.


Our young people’s stories reflect their individual views. If you're aged 16-25, LGBTQ+ and want to join our Young Writers group, find out more here.