Here’s what happened when we sent The L Word’s Rachel Shelley to meet the Mayor of London.
This year Pride in London was bigger and better than ever, with an estimated 1.5 million people flooding the capital. The main event is of course the parade, which was led by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. We sent Radio DIVA’s roving reporter and star of The L Word, Rachel Shelley, to speak to him about some of the most important issues facing the LGBT+ community today.
RACHEL SHELLEY: So Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, we’re here at London Pride 2017. Is this your first Pride?
SADIQ KHAN: No, I was the first mayor last year to lead Pride in London. I’m really pleased to be back this year. This year is the biggest in Pride in London’s history and in Pride’s history with about 1.5 million people, more floats and more walking groups than ever before. Today’s going to be successful and safe as well.
And, because it’s the biggest lots of people ask, why doesn’t London have an LGBT centre as so many other capital cities around the world do?
Well, it would do lots of things to help the LGBT+ community not just on this day or in these two weeks but all year round.
I’ve made sure in City Hall we do all we can to help the LGBT+ community. You’ll see not just at our bus stops and stations, but also in places of work. We work with employers across London to make sure we promote equality. We’re working with the police to make sure we have zero tolerance against hate crime. We’re working to make sure we stop LGBT+ venues closing across London.
I know you’re very active on Twitter and there’s a lot of hate on Twitter. What advice would you give to people on how to deal with it?
Firstly, please report it to Twitter. We’re in contact with Twitter, who’ve reassured us they’re going to take action against people who are inciting hatred or using homophobic language. Number two, we have set up the country’s first online hate crime hub. This is to give people the confidence to report these things, but also to have police specialists working with community groups and social media companies to take action. Crime is crime, whether it’s face to face or online, so please report it to Twitter and the authorities. We’re going to take action.
That’s great, thank you! Have a great Pride.
You can hear more of Rachel’s roving reports on Radio DIVA. Listen live at 6.30pm every Tuesday (on Resonance 104.4FM and DAB in London and online at player.resonancefm.com) or catch up anytime at mixcloud.com/resonance.