It’s not the first time the LGBT pioneer has been excluded from a Downing Street Pride reception.
Today Prime Minister Theresa May is holding a Pride reception at Downing Street to honour LGBT community leaders and campaigners. But there is one key figure in the LGBT community who is notably absent. May has chosen to exclude pioneering activist for LGBT and human rights Peter Tatchell, despite his fifty years in activism.
This isn’t the first time Tatchell has experienced such exclusion. In fact, he has been vetoed by every Prime Minister ever since the first official LGBT reception 16 years ago. He has been banned by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and now Theresa May.
Speaking about this “serial exclusion”, Tatchell said:
“I take my blacklisting as a back-handed compliment. The Prime Minister obviously thinks I am too challenging and not respectable enough to be invited. That’s fine by me.”
“I don’t seek invites to Downing Street or government honours. I would not want to go to Downing Street while the Prime Minister teams up with the homophobic DUP, allows the incarceration of LGBT refugees in asylum detention centres and refuses to tackle homophobic bullying by making LGBT issues mandatory in every school.”
Tatchell suggested that May probably banned him because she “doesn’t want to be confronted about such injustices.”
He went on to say:
“I’m glad she finds me threatening. My goal in life is to disturb the conscience of government. I don’t want their plaudits or hospitality. I want action for LGBT human rights.”
It begs the question, is it truly a Pride reception if key community activists like Peter Tatchell are not invited?