When I was elected, I promised to be a Mayor for all Londoners and, just a couple of months after taking office, I was proud to march in the 2016 Pride Parade, alongside members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and many others from all backgrounds. It’s a day I’ll never forget – celebrating London’s diversity in full technicolour. I can’t wait to join in the celebration again this year, and lead the 2017 Pride parade, one which promises to be the biggest and most colourful yet!
Here in London, you’re free to love whoever you want to love and be whoever you want to be. That is a big reason why I feel our city is seen as a welcoming home 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.
It’s so important to me that London is seen as a city where LGBT+ people feel valued, happy and safe. That doesn’t just mean celebrating Pride once a year, it means acting on issues that matter to the LGBT+ community all year round. Pride can also send a message of solidarity and hope to LGBT+ people across the globe who continue to face discrimination and oppression – a message that together we can achieve change and improve human rights for everyone.
Pride in London is one of the iconic festivals of our city and underlines our reputation as one of the most LGBT+ friendly places on the planet. We have faced an extremely difficult time in London recently, with terrorist attacks and extremists trying to sow division and discord. Pride is another great demonstration of how London will always stand united – and how we will always be a beacon of inclusiveness, acceptance and diversity. Above all, it shows that London is open to all people, regardless of background, religion, race, gender, disability, age or sexuality. It shows that #LoveHappensHere.
However you, your family and friends are celebrating – I wish all Boyz readers a fantastic Pride!
Sadie Khan – Mayor of London