Lyell speaks out against unauthorised Pride demo.
Last Saturday’s Pride in London parade was delayed by a small group of protesters who made their way to the front of the parade and, while trampling a rainbow flag, waved signs with messages including “Transactivism Erases Lesbians” and “Lesbian = female homosexual”. The group, who call themselves “Get the L Out”, told Pink News “We want to get the L out of Pride, a man cannot be a lesbian, a person with a penis cannot be a lesbian.”
Lyell issued the following statement, “I am so disappointed that a day full of joy and celebration was hijacked by a small minority of women with the intention of spreading hate.
“They say trans activism erases lesbians. They say our young people are at risk.
“But I am a lesbian, and like the vast majority of women loving women I know, I am not erased by the existence of trans people. I am enriched.
“DIVA is unequivocal in its support of trans people. We stand with our trans and non-binary siblings today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes to rid the world of transphobia. As we’ve said before, and we’ll say again, it has no place in DIVA and no place in our community.
“To these protesters I say simply: you do not speak for me, you do not speak for my friends, you do not speak for our community and you do not speak for DIVA. Take your hate elsewhere.”
Publisher Linda Riley, who also published OutNews Global, added, ““DIVA is explicitly trans inclusive. In no way do we condone the actions of the small group of anti-trans protesters who disrupted yesterday’s Pride in London parade. They do not speak for us.
“We stand with our trans and non-binary siblings at Pride and all year round.”
Pride in London issued the following statement on Sunday 8 July:
“We are sorry.
Yesterday a group of individuals labelled as ‘Get The L Out!’, who were not a registered parade group, forced their way to the front of the parade to stand on the rainbow flag. Their behaviour was shocking and disgusting, and we condemn it completely.
The lesbian board members at Pride in London made their anger towards the unsanctioned group clear and our organisation as a whole condemns their actions. The protest group showed a level of bigotry, ignorance and hate that is unacceptable.
We reject what this group stands for. They do not share our values, which are about inclusion and respect and support for the most marginalised parts of our community.
We are proud of our trans volunteers, proud of the trans groups that are in our parade, proud of our trans speakers at events and proud of the trans people who take part in our campaigns and proud of those who cheered even louder for them yesterday.”
Pride in London went on to explain that they could not “forcibly remove” the group as “their protest was not a criminal offence”. Instead, they say they “moved them to an area far in front of the official parade start to separate them.” They added, “We are looking at what we could do differently if something like this happens again.”