London trains community celebrates Pride

Transport for London decorates two trains and a bus ahead of this weekend’s Pride parade, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Queen Mojo with the Pride-decorated London Overground train (credit Noah Vickers/Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Queen Mojo with the Pride-decorated London Overground train (credit Noah Vickers/LDRS)

A bus, a London Overground train and an Elizabeth Line train have been wrapped in a dazzling design to celebrate Pride.

The wraps show a diverse group of Londoners from across the LGBTQ+ community and the bus will also accompany people representing Transport for London at the Pride in London parade on 1st July.

Seb Dance, deputy mayor for transport, said in a speech unveiling the new designs: “My own coming out story was miserable when I was younger.

“I had Section 28 hanging over me. My teachers couldn’t – wouldn’t – talk about the issue, and I had to fight it pretty much on my own.

“What a massive difference it would have made to a 16-year-old me, to see these buses and trains out on the network.

“So for every single person who’s going on their own journey – every journey matters, every story matters, and these wraps are a testament to the wonderful fabric of diversity in this city.”

Thanks to the design’s inclusion on an Elizabeth Line train, the wrap will be seen by people across London and even out as far as Essex and Reading.

Customers using the route 63 bus between Honor Oak and King’s Cross can already see the design, which has been on display since mid-June. It will also be featured on a fourth vehicle: a London Underground engineering train, used for maintenance on the network.

Amy Lamé, London’s night czar, praised the wrap for showing “the diversity within our diversity, which is really important, so that LGBTQ+ isn’t just one block of people – we are diverse, we are many”.

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She added: “They’re so eye-catching, so inclusive, so lovely, that we hope that for those that maybe don’t understand what it is, they might want to understand a bit more.

“I came to London over 30 years ago because I wanted to live my life openly as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, so there’s no doubt in my mind that London has always been a beacon for diversity. The message has always been one of: ‘This is a place where you can be who you want to be’.”

The Elizabeth Line wrap is expected to remain in place for about 18 months, with the London Overground design retained for about a year before being reviewed, and the bus wrap to stay for several months.

TV personality and dancer Queen Mojo said: “I am so excited, because having these stories and the pictures of different people, of different sizes, ages and abilities, shows people that the LGBTQ+ community is more inclusive than people think.

“They think it’s exclusive and it’s meant to be for us and us only – but look at the different types of people that we teach to love, to care about, to support.

“These stories out there are going to speak to people that maybe haven’t come out yet, haven’t embarked on their journey of self acceptance just yet, but this is promoting that.”

Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said the organisation would be doing other things to celebrate Pride too: “We have a poster campaign with key creatives, influencers in this world, really showing why London transport is important to them, and why its important to Pride.

“We have announcements at our stations, our whiteboards are going to carry excerpts from key literature – so Nick Grimshaw’s Soft Lad for instance, quotes from that at our platforms.”

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