Pride has always been a very important time for The Pink Singers. We performed our first ever gig at the Lesbian & Gay Pride march in London in 1983 and have continued to march ever since; exercising our right to protest to improve the rights for all LGBT+ people and be visible for our community.
On 1st July we took part in London Pride. This home town pride has been a permanent fixture in our calendars for over 40 years. There was a short hiatus due to covid, and the last two years we decided not to attend due to our concerns over systemic racism within the Pride in London organisation. However, after engaging with them, this year we felt things had improved and were proud to once again march the streets of London, donning our brand new Pinkies 40 year anniversary t-shirts.
To coincide with our t-shirts, we also created a brand new banner for Pride. With the amazing sewing skills of Chris S, Duong, Hester and Charlie S, a bright sparkly new banner was pulled together in one evening during a placard making session at my house, to replace our usual pink and black banner. The banner was proudly paraded at both London Pride and Trans Pride (8th July) and features a variety of LGBT+ flags, and commitment to trans inclusion and supporting the black lives matter movement.
I felt very proud to march with my Pinkie comrades. I’ve been marching in prides with them for almost 12 years. After all the transphobia in the media and changes to LGBT+ rights around the world it felt more important than ever to stand up and march with our queer family.
Below we hear personal accounts of our attendance at Trans Pride from two of our wonderful choir members, Josi and Katie.
Charly (Soprano and Communities Team Member)
Something special happened on Trans Pride day.
But the story starts many months ago when a decision was made by the Pinkies to show overt solidarity with their trans members. True allyship is when people put some energy into demonstrating their support, and not just telling us. My beloved Pinkies chose to put mega energy into their support and it became visible and more than that, it was very, very real. It’s no secret that I’m an emotional mush and I have to admit to a few tears blurring my vision as I’m writing this.
The preceding week to Trans Pride was Pride London. On that day a regiment of Pinkies turned up with a huge banner declaring their support for trans lives. I felt very proud. Then at Trans Pride, Pinkies assembled and showed London that trans lives really do matter. We assembled in the rain at Trafalgar Square. The assembled crowds grew to beyond the capacity that the square could hold.
I was both amazed and blessed to see so many cis people wearing their hearts on their sleeves and highly motivated to show us that we were loved and belonged. I was thrilled to see the variety of trans people in both age and presentation.
Of course the label ‘Trans’ is as useful as the label European. It puts us on a map but tells you nothing about who we are. It’s an umbrella term, the irony not lost on me as I sheltered from the rain. The rain abated almost as we set off from Trafalgar Square,
there were thousands upon thousands upon thousands of trans people and our allies, and as we marched and demonstrated, we received so much love and support from crowds along the way.
It was a truly uplifting experience reminding me that the Twitter world and the axis of hate, is not the real world and that our government’s fixation with controlling us, even hoping to eradicate us, is not the prevailing view of everyday people. The vibe was definitely to show everyone we matter and they care.
We finished at Hyde Park Corner and I watched as the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of allies walking with their trans siblings entered the area and filled it, as at the beginning, beyond capacity. It was a sight I will never forget.
I’m so proud of my Pinkies and grateful doesn’t cover it.
I have never been more certain of my validity, my worth and to continue to stand up prouder and shout even louder than “them”.
It was my first time attending Trans Pride in London alongside my pink singers family. I’m pleased to share my experience of it from the perspective of an Ally, as part of this collection of various pinkie voices.
It was incredibly moving to see approximately 30,000 people gathered in central London with an array of incredible signs, all powerfully conveying messages of visibility, support, and wishes for a better world. It was amazing to have so many people turn up to protest despite the torrential rain. Though it dampened our signs, it most definitely didn’t dampen our spirits.
We proudly marched alongside the pink singers banner, to which we affixed a trans flag, the words “Pink Singers for Trans Rights” and flowers to honour the long legacy of transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and intersex people. In our recent summer concert, we wore our signature pink roses and continue to remember the immense contribution they have made and continue to make to the LGBTQIA+ rights movement.
Pride season isn’t over for us. We’ll be taking part and performing at Liverpool Pride at the end of July, as well as attending Black Pride and Bi Pride in London. Hope to see you there!