LGBT+ campaigners demand inclusion at first UK ‘Reclaim Pride’ march

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07/24/2021

LONDON, July 24 (Openly) – Holding banners and shouting slogans of defiance, thousands of LGBT+ people took to the streets of London on Saturday to protest against the perceived commercialisation of Britain’s official annual Pride march. As the first ever Reclaim Pride march curled past Britain’s iconic Palace of Westminster, marchers said they had come to protest about the state of LGBT+ rights in the country, particularly for those within the transgender community. “We are seeing … increased amounts of transphobic articles (in the media),” said Natalie June-Whitaker, a 22-year-old degree apprentice in IT consulting, as people milled in central London’s Parliament Square before the march began. “(They are) attacking innocent trans people and increasing anti-trans rhetoric, which affects real people’s everyday lives,” June-Whitaker said. Last year, the British government scrapped a proposed reform that would have let trans people legally change gender without a medical diagnosis. Marchers also called for more diversity and efforts to tackle racism both within and outside the LGBT+ community. “We’re here to say that Pride is about inclusion,” said Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, executive director of UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest LGBT+ celebration for people of colour, which attracted about 15,000 people in 2019.

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