Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declares ‘love is love’ as tube stations get a rainbow makeover
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that Londoners are “free to love whoever you want to love”, as some of the most iconic London Underground stations get a rainbow makeover for Pride.
To mark the Pride in London festival today, which launches this week ahead of the Pride parade on July 8, Transport for London is giving parts of the city’s transport network a new rainbow design.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched the campaign, posing with a #loveislove roundel.
He said: “Here in London, you’re free to love whoever you want to love and be whoever you want to be.
“That’s just one of the reasons why our city is seen as a beacon for the LGBT+ community and has such a vibrant, thriving scene – one that is bursting with colour, and contributes hugely to the life and soul of London.
“As commuters make their way across the capital, they’ll be greeted by rainbow colours taking pride of place at Underground stations, bus stops and Santander Cycles around Soho, sending a strong message of support to London’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“This Pride, I look forward to celebrating the capital’s diversity and showing that London is open to all people, regardless of background, religion, race, gender, disability, age or sexuality.”
Mr Khan, the first Muslim Mayor of London, is a strong supporter of LGBT rights and has embarked on a new tradition of the Mayor leading the annual Pride parade.
The Mayor recently got into a high profile spat with US President Donald Trump.
President Trump previously called Mr Khan “ignorant” and “rude” for questioning his immigration policies.
Khan hit back saying Trump is playing into the hands of ISIS with his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
At a recent rally he said he would not allow Trump to “silence” him.
President Trump has axed all Pride celebrations at the White House, while Mr Khan is leading London’s Pride parade.
As part of the Transport for London campaign, rainbow roundels have been installed at Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus Tube stations, with a #loveislove slogan above the Oxford Street entrance of Tottenham Court Road station.
Fifty of the city’s hire cycles, known to locals as ‘Boris Bikes’, have also been decorated with rainbow livery, while rainbow flags will also be flown from bus stops on the day of the Pride parade.
Ben Lyon, Chair of OUTbound, TfL’s LGBT+ Staff Network Group, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Pride celebrations by decorating the transport network with our beautiful rainbow design at Tube stations, bus stops and on bikes.
“The capital is one of the most diverse cities in the world and we are extremely proud to be part of the message to the world that, whatever your sexual orientation, London is open and welcomes you.”
The city has made other gestures in past years to celebrate LGBT equality.
Traffic lights bearing LGBT-inclusive little green people were installed to mark Pride last year – much to the upset of the Daily Mail, which declared them a public danger several months after they were installed without incident.
Transport for London has also made a splash with a Pride-themed bus and taxi, even giving a train on the Docklands Light Railway a makeover in 2015.
In a sign of London’s diversity and inclusivity, Pride in London is marking Ramadan as part of this year’s Pride festival.
One of the events in the Pride festival is A Big Gay Iftaar, which Pride in London says will “bring together the Muslim and LGBT+ communities to open a fast together during Ramadan”.