About 10 women inexplicably led the Pride in London march, which was supposed to be led by London mayor Sadiq Khan, distributing leaflets and carrying banners with explicit anti-trans messages such as “trans activists erase lesbians” and “a male can never be lesbian.”
The extremist group reportedly blocked the parade for 10 minutes, lying down in the street to protest “lesbian erasure” until parade officials urged them to move on.
Known to their adversaries as TERFs, or trans-exclusive radical feminists, the group protested using the hashtag #GetTheLOut, arguing that the trans movement is “anti-lesbianism.”
“We want to get the L out of Pride, a man cannot be a lesbian, a person with a penis cannot be a lesbian,” one protester told PinkNews.
Another claimed that “men are saying they are trans, they are lesbians, and they pressure lesbians to have sex with them.”
The TERFs had not been officially permitted to lead or even participate in the parade. However, despite event security and police presence, they were allowed to continue marching along the parade route until Trafalgar Square, where there was a vocal altercation between the group and other attendees.
“A small group at the front of the Pride in London parade were dealt with quickly and safely by event organizers,” says a Metropolitan Police spokesperson. “Police did not need to intervene. No arrests were made.” Read more via NewNowNext
UK: Statement from Pride in London regarding the 2018 protest group
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.
Sadly, we could not forcibly remove the group as their protest was not a criminal offence. They demanded to march behind the rainbow flag, which marks the official start of our parade. We did not allow that as we did not want to legitimise them or their message.
We moved them to an area far in front of the official parade start to separate them. We are looking at what we could do differently if something like this happens again.
The Pride goers who were in London yesterday told us that the actions of 8 people did not stop the joy and love that was demonstrated by the 30,000 people who followed. They tell us that cheers for our trans siblings were even louder.
We are distraught by the messages and the hurt that has been caused and we held an urgent meeting with the Community Advisory Board this morning. We have also spoken to a number of individuals and groups including trans activists and Stonewall. Read the full statement via Pride in London