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A source says it was perceived by some as “a retrograde step”.

Today an independent Community Advisory Board (CAB) released its annual report about Pride 2017 and the future of Pride in London.

This year’s report focusses on the representation of marginalised groups, including bisexual, trans, intersex, genderqueer, disabled and BAME people. It makes a number of operational suggestions for future Pride celebrations regarding marketing, overcrowding and further consultation with LGBT+ groups.

A source told DIVA that behind the scenes the CAB initially recommended against having a women’s stage, saying they had received “some feedback expressing concern at the designation of one of the Soho stages as a women’s stage, which was perceived as being a retrograde step”.

Instead there was a proposal for “an acoustic/lightly amplified music/ spoken word stage” where “the majority of the acts may still be female, but there would also be space for alternative acts that do not identify as women and who are currently under represented and have no space to perform in”.

The source also said that the CAB had left a role for a women’s representative vacant for months.

The official report states:

“The CAB welcomed LLCP’s ambition to make Pride more inclusive of women and, despite our reservations in 2016, acknowledge the success of enhancing the scale and focus of the women’s stage which moved from Soho to Leicester Square and had its own headline sponsor.”

DIVA publisher Linda Riley commented:

“It’s such a shame that in 2017 lesbian and bisexual women have to fight o hard to be visible, even in their own community.”

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