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LGBT activists hacked bus adverts in central London today to protest at the “hypocrisy” of the exclusion of LGBT asylum-seekers and homeless people from Pride.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) replaced bus ads along the Pride march route to challenge how government institutions and corporations are able to march on Pride in London, but marginalised groups are “left watching on the sidelines” because they are unable to afford to take part.
The ads ask: “Who is welcomed by London pride?” with one noting that the Home Office is included while LGBT asylum-seekers aren’t and another comparing Barclays with homeless LGBT people.
A third ad highlights the inclusion of arms companies versus LGBT refugees and the final one on the police in comparison to LGBT community groups.
The nature of Pride in London has become under increasing scrutiny in recent years.
UK Black Pride announced that it was removing the Home Office from its event this week because of their “continued discrimination against the communities we represent.”
The Home Office has been accused of “rainbow-washing.” In June, the department changed its profile picture to a rainbow on the same day news broke that it was deporting a gay rugby player whose case is still ongoing.
Nearly 80 per cent of LGBT asylum cases were refused by the Home Office last year with the majority of appeals won in court.
LGSM spokesperson Sam Bjorn said: “You have to ask who Pride in London is really for?
“While the Home Office are celebrated, the LGBT+ migrants that they have dehumanised, detained and forced to live in fear of deportation have to watch from the sidelines.
“Fifty years since Stonewall, Pride should be standing up for the people in our community facing the brunt of oppression, not promoting the very companies and institutions that attack us.”
Outside Project’s Harry Gay said: “Aside from the fact that we, a small grassroots homelessness project, have to pay to be a part of Pride in London — they repeatedly ignore our requests for it to be more accessible for our guests.
“We are fighting for our voices to be heard in solidarity with other marginalised groups who are equally being pushed to the back in what corporate Pride has become.”
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