Transport for London celebrates 50 years of Pride with its biggest ever poster exhibition
Customers can enjoy the specially designed and designed Pride themed photographs and posters in the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Elizabeth Line and Coach Stations on the weekend of the 2 and July 3.
Pride-themed posters reveal stories from a wide range of LGBT+ communities and businesses demonstrating the role, legacy and support they provide to their peers. The stories in the exhibition reveal the hopes and highlight the diversities within the London communities served by TfL every day, as well as how the transport network brings LGBT+ communities together.
Contributors include The Cocoa Butter Club, an award-winning performance company for artists of colour, Gay’s The Word, the UK’s oldest independent LGBT+ bookstore and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, an institutional LGBT+ entertainment and nightlife venue. The exhibition also showcases inclusive sports clubs and teams including Stonewall FC, London Cruisers and London Otters Rowing Club. A series of posters also feature Polari which is a coded language used by some members of the LGBT+ communities in order to converse discreetly, these posters will be displayed at TfL stations including the new Elizabeth line.
Portraits of more than 20 TfL employees and contractors will also be on display at Vauxhall and Green Park tube stations and Poplar DLR station. These posters reveal the range of roles in the transport industry from customer service assistant, electrical engineer and project manager and tell the stories of staff members who are themselves authentic in their work and have been designed to encourage others to do the same. Vauxhall and Green Park tube stations are also seeing posters designed by staff members who have expressed their creativity to represent Pride, including messages of encouragement.
TfL has been proud to be part of the Pride Parade since 2006 and will see a fully decorated electric bus run alongside TfL marchers in the Pride in London 2022 Parade on Saturday July 2. The TfL team will march under the banners of Women, Faith, RACE, Carers, Parent and Guardians and Disability Staff Network Groups as well as the LGBT+ banner to draw attention to the many aspects of London’s LGBT+ communities. The iconic red bus was supplied by Abellio and features decorative signage funded by TfL advertising partner Global.
Marcia Williams, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent at TfL, said:
“TfL is a strong and consistent supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and we are committed to showing our continued support throughout the year. This year, we are opening a wider platform to the experiences, voices and creativity of the community and we hope the vast collection of posters will engage, delight and inspire customers using the network.
“Everyone has the right to travel and to feel safe when traveling on public transport, and we continue to do our utmost to ensure that public transport remains a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.”
Cocoa Butter Club Arts, Nightlife and Cabaret Producer Cassie Leon said:
“The Cocoa Butter Club is really delighted to be teaming up with TfL. We rely on the Tubes and trains to transport all of our incredibly talented performers around London. From east to south and west for carnivals, The Cocoa Butter Club The Night Tube has been a game-changer in cabaret and we’re thrilled to be featured.
London Cruisers’ Club board member Kate Landers said:
“As an LGBTQ+ basketball team in London, we are delighted to be part of the TfL Pride Creative Series. We had lots of fun and laughs during the photoshoot at our local training location in Bethnal Green. Cruisers are synonymous with community, friendship and inclusion; so it’s fantastic to work with TfL and use their platform (literally!) to promote these values in the city we all call home.
Emma Gant, PR and Social Media Manager at London Otters, said:
“We are delighted to be part of the TfL Pride campaign. It’s so important to showcase safe LGBTQ+ spaces across London and show the brilliant network and community that exists in our capital.
Lenart, Gay’s the Word bookseller said:
“Over the years, the bus and the subway have always played an important role in connecting queer lives and allowing us to find the precious queer places where we could meet, discover our community and forge a sense of belonging. From seasoned queens secretly chatting to Polari huddled on the top deck of an old Routemaster as it meandered along Piccadilly in the 1960s, to members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners came to their meeting at The Bell pub from King’s Cross in the 80s to hopping on the tube and heading to Tottenham Court Road to see old friends at First Out Cafe in the 90s, to today’s non-binary or bisexual young adults with excitement en route to visit Gay’s the Word bookstore for the first time, the bus and tube network transported LGBTQ+ communities to marches, parades, parties, pubs and clubs and then back again into their own, then brought them back for as long as there was a place to go and a queer culture to revel in. Thanks for getting us there, TfL.
TfL has undertaken a number of programs that support inclusivity, such as the introduction of various traffic signals and a range of rainbow vehicles running on the transport network. TfL also regularly uses inclusive roundel designs which feature the color of the Rainbow and Bi and Trans Pride flags across the network during Pride.