Pride in London won’t include any bisexual groups marching this year
Update: In response to our report Pride in London has made changes to ensure bi representation. See their statement below this article.
Original story: There will be no bisexual groups marching at this year’s Pride in London, despite organisers saying the event is “a platform for every part of London’s LGBT+ community”.
The annual event, which was last year attended by almost a million people, will feature a parade of more than 300 groups – but not one of these are groups specifically representing bisexual people.
Banks such as Barclays and the Bank of America are in the line-up, however, along with restaurants such Starbucks and Nandos.
Last year, Bisexuals + were part of the parade, but there are no groups this year which solely represent bisexuals.
In a statement Pride in London said that groups needed to represent themselves by applying.
They added: “We are disappointed that no Bi groups applied on time. Over 50 groups on the waiting list also.
“We encourage all to apply. We encourage inclusive groups that represent all LGBT+. No exclusions. And a fair process built by the community.
“Bi people are amongst our volunteers, performers, in parade groups that are fully LGBT+ inclusive.
“The process is open to all, inclusive and fair. It’s first come first served. We do our best to let the community know when it’s open.”
However, some have called on pride for not doing enough to encourage applications from Bi groups.
— Pride in London (@LondonLGBTPride) May 25, 2017
Jasmine Andersson, a freelance journalist working in London, said: “It’s hard to be identified as bisexual whether or not you’re on a float. Straight people expect you to perform your queerness, and people in the gay community have labelled me as indecisive or fake.
“Bi erasure is still a pressing problem in the LGBT community, and it baffles me that a celebration that is meant to rejoice in what people are no matter how they identify would fail to cater for the entirety of it’s community.”
Pride have said “well no bisexual groups applied in time” but I feel like if you’re organising an LGBT event you should make an effort https://t.co/iOVwvOrEAm
— rosa cucksemburg (@sistersinead) May 26, 2017
Ellen Jones, Stonewall’s Young Campaigner of the Year, added the news showed a “failure in outreach”.
“They also keep trying to shift the blame onto bisexual groups rather than addressing why those groups didn’t feel encouraged to apply,” she added.
“Not to mention they failed to recognise the lack of bisexual groups at the application stage as an issue and subsequently didn’t reach out.”
A spokesperson for Pride in London said changes would be made.
They said: “This year more than 300 different groups will be taking part in the Pride parade, with more than two-thirds of the applicants coming from charities, clubs and societies representing the whole of the LGBT+ community.
“Throughout the Pride in London calendar we strive to ensure all events, performances and publicity campaigns are a true representation of the wonderful and diverse spectrum of all LGBT+ people, and parade entries are overseen by our independent Community Advisory Board.
“We have worked with bi-activists to ensure the bisexual community has high profile representation on our live stages, and will be a vital part of our ‘Love Happens Here’ publicity campaign.
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“As a founder member of the UK Pride Organisers Network, Pride in London is proud to support the development of the Pride movement. Through this network we have met with and provided assistance to the committed volunteers who are setting up a dedicated BiPride for the UK.
“Following recent concerns of bi representation we’re delighted to confirm that BiPride will lead the UK Prides section of our parade. Whilst space is limited, BiPride will invite other bi groups to join them to show their support for the development of BiPride and to increase bi visibility.
“Groups wishing to join BiPride in the Parade should send an email to [email protected]”
It’s not the first time the event has attracted controversy – last year UKIP’s LGBT group were barred from the event, though they decided to march anyway.